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New Series: Window Shopping - Manchester City

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Welcome to our new feature, as we count down to the big day.

There’s less than fifty days to go now until the January transfer window opens, so whether your team is challenging for the title, battling for Europe or clinging on to survival in the lucrative top flight of English football, I’m going to analyse (in my humble view) what your team needs to in order to have a successful January. I’ll be basing the order of teams in table order, correct as of 18/11/18 for my analysis, so without further ado, the defending champions and threatening run-away leaders, Manchester City.

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Summer Review:

It was a mixed summer for City, who had two top targets going into the window. They managed to prize away Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, the Algerian swapping the King Power for The Etihad in a club record £60m+ deal and whilst he took a while to find his feet, he’s now repaying that fee with goals, assists and solid performances – just don’t ask him to take penalties. City did fail, however, to nab Jorginho from Napoli as the midfield metronome followed Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea, which is a relief for the rest of the league. I’d dread to play against a midfield of Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Jorginho, you’d never touch the ball. Claudio Gomes, Philippe Sandler and Daniel Arzani are all youngsters with potential, time will tell if they come good.

Image via Goal.com

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Who comes in?

Despite having squad depth that would make any team worldwide blush, Guardiola seems determined to keep the chequebook open and is targeting more young talent for his ranks. City are being linked with Ajax pair Frenkie De Jong and Mathijs De Ligt, for a combined fee north of £100m, while rumours of Nathan Ake, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Everton Soares all continue to rumble on.

Who goes out?

It seems unrealistic to expect City to make big changes in January, but one man who could leave is Oleksandr Zinchenko who rejected a move to Wolves on deadline day but has spoken about his frustration at a lack of game time. Nico Otamendi might seek assurances, after his first-team spot was taken by the pairing of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones.

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Shock signing?

Guardiola has frequently bemoaned a lack of a proper replacement for Fernandinho in his squad and the Qatari solution as usual will be to throw money at the problem. Adrien Rabiot has still not committed to Paris Saint-Germain and might be available for a big fee in the winter window, or alternatively, don’t rule out Guardiola attempting a very ambitious raid on Barcelona to acquire Sergio Busquets, who has started to see his minutes reduced at Barcelona. City might also look to splash out on a solid number two goalkeeper, after Claudio Bravo’s injury.

Shock departure?

Although he seems to have settled down in the last few weeks, Leroy Sane seemed very much unsettled earlier in the season. Guardiola criticised the young winger for not working hard enough and he’s seen his minutes reduced due to the form of Mahrez, Sterling and both Silvas this season. Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain and Juventus are all known to be admirers of the pacey winger and all three would probably consider an offer if he was available, but they’d need to be prepared to cough up due to his long contractual terms.

Summary

Pep Guardiola probably has the most complete squad in the league, with quality in every position, but that won’t stop him spending the money if he thinks he needs it. Expect little action in January, however, with one in and one out at most, unless a long injury occurs to one of the absolute key cogs in the machine.

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