Pep Guardiola has admitted there will be plenty of changes this summer at Manchester City.
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The Spanish coach is obviously far from happy with his team being 11 points off Premier League leaders with nine games left to play.
Speaking ahead of City’s trip to Chelsea on Wednesday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) Guardiola admitted that he and key directors will sit down at the end of this season to plan out an assault on the transfer market.
“We will think about it and discuss with the chairman and all the bosses. Every club wants to improve and must improve. Of course, the changes are necessary,” Guardiola said. “We are going to discuss about that at the end of the season. It depends on the result of the players. At the end the players decide for themselves through their performances on the pitch.”
So, over to you, players.
City have several first team stars out of contract this summer with Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Willy Caballero, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Jesus Navas all due to move on. Plus the futures of Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero seem to be up the air with the former having yet another injury plagued campaign and the latter could potentially be pushed out of the starting lineup by Gabriel Jesus next season.
The big area for Pep to strengthen is in defense.
City need two new full backs, a center back and a new goalkeeper if they’re seriously going to challenge for the Premier League title and UEFA Champions League. It’s not like City haven’t thrown huge sums of cash in trying to fix this problem in the past with center backs Nicolas Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala and John Stones all struggling to live up to their huge price tags.
Of course, between now and then there’s no guarantee that City will finish in fourth place as Arsenal and Manchester United breath down their necks in the final weeks of the season. The current squad of players must prove they have a future at City by locking down a top four spot.
If Guardiola wins the FA Cup and finishes in the top four then this season can be deemed as satisfactory. Anything other than that and Pep will have plenty to prove to City’s fans and neutrals this summer and all of that starts with a monumental rebuild.