If you’ve been keeping an eye on all City-related transfer news of late, it should be clear that we are being linked with a truly unprecedented number of players. Just look at this for a list and compare it with the 5-6 or so supposed targets for any of our rivals either domestically or in Europe:
Ederson (Benfica), Rulli (Sociedad), Pickford (Sunderland), Fabinho (Monaco), Sidibe (Monaco), Gaya (Valencia), Cancelo (Valencia), Sandro (Juventus), Aurier (PSG), Mendy (Monaco), Wilshere (Arsenal), Messi (Barcelona), Laporte (Bilbao), Lemar (Monaco), Bakayoko (Monaco), Bernardo Silva (Monaco), Weigl (Dortmund), Dahoud (Gladbach), Dele Alli (Spurs), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Solanke (Chelsea), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Mbappe (Monaco), Aubameyang (Dortmund), Griezmann (A.Madrid), Dybala (Juventus), Moise Kean (Juventus), W. Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Murillo (Inter), Michael Keane (Burnley), Bernat (Bayern).
That’s a total of 32 players after just a half-hour long survey of a few popular football websites confidently proclaiming to know our next star signing. I’m absolutely sure I have missed a few.
And by ‘a few’, I mean half a dozen. And by ‘half a dozen’, I probably mean about twenty…
Incredible because even the most dedicated diehard Man City fanatic is not even able to tell you which 11 players Guardiola will choose from one week to the next!
He is a very unpredictable man.
Question: Who do City need?
Answer: At minimum, a goalkeeper, 2 full-backs, a centre-back and a couple of midfielders: about six
Question: How many are out of contract this summer?
So far so good.
However I believe that there are 10 simple realities that we can apply to each and every transfer rumour, and to do so is to be much less likely to give most any headspace at all. After all, there’s rarely so much as a real quote or a shred of evidence behind any of it. Most rumours are educated and often ill-educated guesswork and poorly disguised ‘clickbait.’
Of course I’m telling you what you already know.
The 10 realities
1. The main wealthy European giants (Bayern, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG) are NOT going to sell City anybody and even if they did, it would be because they are considered not good enough or otherwise unsuitable for their squad. An exception might be if they have a ready-made replacement and can really gouge us for money. Are these the kinds of players for City to build a future around?
2. AS Monaco are NOT going to sell off one half to three quarters of their team. (2-3 players at best)
3. Nobody is getting Walker, Rose or Dele Alli off Daniel Levy, and least of all a title rival. Unless he can really gouge us on the fee.
4. It’s unlikely that anybody at Valencia would be good enough for City, given their current plight.
5. Gundogan aside, it’s unlikely we’ll buy another injury-prone player (i.e. Wilshere). That’s surely why we did not take Badstuber.
6. If it sounds too good to be true (Messi, Sandro, Dele Alli) – it is.
7. Despite the lure of the cash and the cachet of playing for Guardiola, many players would be giving up warm sunshine for grey, rainy Manchester. (Let’s face it…) Just ask Mr. Griezmann.
8. Extreme caution is required when considering players who look amazing in their own league but have a habit of shrinking in England (i.e. from Portugal, Ligue 1, Holland)
9. All South American players (& Aubameyang but except G. Jesus) dream of playing for Real Madrid so if they are a competitor, you can forget it. Although sometimes a personal phone call from Pep can get around this.
10. The harsh reality is, City need to buy English/’home-grown’ players to maintain quotas. This is conveniently forgotten amid the hype.
If these realities are taken into account, it’s eye-opening just how many names from the list above can be eliminated.
(Approx half of ’em!)
As mentioned above, if a club feels they can really ‘do’ us on the transfer fee or if Pep personally intervenes, then of course things may be different but current City policy indicates otherwise.
These are no longer the days of Agent M. Hughes back when we went cap in hand 🙂
Has Pep said he wants the player?
RTs, follows and comments @boltfromablue are much appreciated.