Six transfers Man City should consider during summer window

Manchester City were on the verge of clinching a treble in the Champions League final last weekend.

Having coasted to the Premier League title – in addition to winning another Carabao Cup – Pep Guardiola and City were favourites to land the big one in Portugal.

However, opponents Chelsea had other ideas and a first-half strike from Kai Havertz duly settled the scores.

Those elusive European honours were so close yet so far for Guardiola, who along with key figures responsible for transfers at the Etihad Stadium, now turns his attention to another recruitment drive.

Facing up to life without Sergio Aguero, the Premier League champions have been linked with a number of high-profile swoops – including Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and the free-scoring Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

With competition for those sought-after players likely high, they would cost a pretty penny in a market which is set to be shaped by financial complications brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here are six bargain options that Guardiola and City could instead target in time for the 2021/2022 season…

Andrea Belotti (Torino) – Although he was not right at the top of the goalscoring charts in Serie A this season, Belotti’s overall record for Torino reads 105 goals in 228 games. Heading into his peak at 27, the striker has been capped 33 times by Italy and has alerted the attention of Chelsea. According to reports, current club Torino would be willing to accept summer bids around the €25m mark for their talisman and captain.

Contact ends: 2022 – would command a fee

Paulo Dybala (Juventus) – Having first burst on to the scene with Palermo, Dybala has now totted up exactly 100 Juventus goals in all competitions. However, the versatile Argentine has yet to commit his long-term future to the Old Lady. Predominantly deployed as a second striker, the 27-year-old also has the capacity to play wide or lead the line when called upon. Could he emerge as an outside bet to replace compatriot Aguero?

Contract ends: 2022 – would command a fee

Robin Gosens (Atalanta) – Right out of the Guardiola text book when it comes to full-backs. Gosens has featured predominantly on the left-hand side of midfield for Atalanta this season, but the 26-year-old regularly switches to a more ‘defensive’ position, as he has done for the German national team. Barcelona and City have been picked out as two potential destinations for a player who accrued 17 direct goal involvements in Serie A alone this term.

Contract ends: 2022 – would command a fee

Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim) – As and when City make their move in attacking quarters, now Aguero has called time on his career at the Etihad Stadium, you just know they will have scouted the Bundesliga from top to bottom, such is the plethora of goal-getters on show in Germany right now. Croatian striker Kramaric is firmly among them, too, having netted 20 in 28 games this term. Other candidates are, perhaps, more likely to be targeted, but with just 12 months left to run on his contract, the Hoffenheim man would represent good value for money.

Contract ends: 2022 – would command a fee

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Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – During a feud with the old Barcelona hierarchy, excitement that Messi was set to arrive in the Premier League reached fever pitch. However, cold water was subsequently poured over that mouth-watering prospect and the Argentine seems set to extend his stay in Catalonia. Albeit unlikely, it’s a dream worth revisiting.

Contract ends: 2021 – free transfer (at the moment)

Matheus Pereira (West Brom) – Even in a relegation campaign, Pereira made quite the impression in the Premier League this season, scoring 11 goals and laying on six assists. West Brom’s chances of retaining the services of the fleet-footed Brazilian are extremely slim. Predominantly a right-sided forward, versatility has also seen the 25-year-old operate as a centre-forward, from the left, as a second striker and as an attacking central midfielder. Would he be a good back-up option?

Contract ends: 2024 – would command a fee