There often comes a time in any transfer window when from a huge number of weird and wonderful names who are linked to a club, we come down to a small number that almost every news outlet, journalist, blogger or ‘insider’ agree upon. A certain critical mass has been reached.
I think we are now at that time with Manchester City F.C.
We know clearly who the transfer targets are and also the high level of confidence City have in landing them.
This state of affairs has happened quite early on this time and has been achieved to such an extent that we can mostly either dismiss or at least take with a huge pinch of salt any links to most of the names that we do not already know about.
There does seem to exist a small number of contingency plans but from everything we can see, our ducks are in a row.
We got rid of Willy and Joe and sent Angus out on loan. We have landed our number 1 target in Ederson. There is some small suggestion that Bravo may be moved on however that is a rumour which is at the moment either without much foundation or extremely low on City’s agenda.
2. Full Backs: Walker, Alves, Mendy, Bertrand.
We cleaned house. We currently have no FBs.
These are the chosen 4. These are who City want. These are who City believe they can get. These are who City have been working on for weeks.
If any of these names do not arrive, then that’s because they are likely not going anywhere.
We won’t be outbid or gazumped. These names are priority level one and all other signings bar Alexis Sanchez are of secondary concern.
3. Centre Backs:
Not a priority until the 4 FBs are landed. If the league were to start tomorrow we’d be just fine. However when those 4 FBs are acquired, this is a position City will consider at that time.
Virgil Van Dijk was highly fancied and may still be in the frame next month but if not, there are plenty of alternatives including but not limited to Koulibaly, Manolas, Boateng, Bonucci, Pepe and Jonathan Tah.
4. Defensive Midfield:
We’ll be fine with Fernandinho, Gundogan and Yaya Toure. The only question marks in this position concern whether or not we will look to bring in upgrades for Delph and Fernando.
Again, this is not a level one priority but when our main objectives are achieved (full backs) then if we were to ask Pep he would likely say “We will see what we can do.”
5. Attacking Midfield:
In Bernardo Silva we got the one we wanted. We are good to go with Bernardo, David Silva, Sterling, Sane and KDB.
We have released Navas and will bid adios to Nolito. The only questions that remain here are:
1. How long will it take Arsenal to realise that Alexis Sanchez will either come to us or leave them next year on a free?
2. Will Pep give a chance to Patrick Roberts or look to bring in someone at a higher stage of development.
It’s questionable whether Pep actually believes in the position of ‘striker.’ In the same way that he once innocently inquired “What’s tackles?” he would, in all likelihood, with a gun to his head and forced to tell the pure truth, probably also ask “What’s strikers?”
With Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and likely Alexis Sanchez he won’t be short of… let’s call them… primary goalscorers.
Therefore regarding this type of role, the only thing to think about is what happens if Wenger forces Sanchez to see out his final year at Arsenal.
It seems clear that City are so confident this will not happen that they will only think about it if and when that unhappy scenario actually materialises.
Credit to @Sammy_Goal for his wonderful Facebook updates on MCFC transfer rumours:) Check these out here: https://www.facebook.com/SammyGoalMCFC/