It’s been an excellent season for Manchester City which was underpinned by a few inspired additions last summer.
The signing of Ruben Dias particularly has proved to be a masterstroke, the centre-back almost single-handedly transformed the Blues’ fortunes in defence this campaign, developing a formidable partnership at the heart of the back line alongside John Stones.
Ferran Torres’ arrival also started to bear fruit as the season reached its conclusion, the young Spaniard providing glimpses of quality, his expertly taken goal against Newcastle the highlight of his hat-trick at St James’ Park and enough to make fans dream of what’s to come next year as he continues to develop.
However, while Pep Guardiola will be searching in the transfer market for more additions as City attempt to defend their Premier League title, it also seems there could be multiple departures at the Etihad to follow Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, who have already joined Barcelona.
So, who are the players who could be most likely to leave City? We’ve taken a closer look.
Arguably the most obvious candidate to leave City this summer is Benjamin Mendy, who has failed to live up to the high expectations that his £52m arrival from Monaco brought four years ago, his time at the Etihad plagued with injuries and questionable displays.
Although Mendy is a hugely popular figure among the City squad, with his exuberant personality largely infectious, his performances on the pitch simply haven’t been good enough and he’s a rather expensive cheerleader to have on the wage bill.
While it seemed Mendy could eventually come good, he continues to squander opportunities to impress and it’s telling that Aleks Zinchenko has overtaken him in the pecking order, while Joao Cancelo has also occasionally featured at left-back ahead of him.
MEN Sport understands City won’t be in the market for a new left-back this summer unless Mendy leaves for pastures new.
It’s fair to suggest Nathan Ake hasn’t really done much wrong in a City shirt, falling victim to the Dias and Stones partnership which has proved unmovable, although Guardiola’s team selections also show Aymeric Laporte is ahead of Ake in his plans.
“My injuries this year have been frustrating and without fans it has not been the same but we are looking forward to next season where we will work even harder,” Ake said this week, hinting that he’s preparing to play for the Blues next term.
If one of City’s centre-backs are to leave, though, Ake is the most dispensable and it’s been reported he could be offered to Tottenham as a makeweight towards any potential deal for Harry Kane, with Spurs needing defensive reinforcements.
If Ake stays at City, he’s certainly a more than capable deputy and could provide strong defensive cover.
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The most unlikely to leave from this shortlist, Raheem Sterling has been linked with a move away, although it might be wise to treat the rumours as such – it was believed City were aiming to agree an extension with Sterling after sorting Kevin De Buryne’s future.
Sterling’s own lofty standards have been used against him this season, as he’s failed to reproduce the world-class form of years gone, but he’s still contributed greatly to this side and undoubtedly shouldn’t be disregarded after one ‘normal’ campaign.
It’s been reported that City would consider sanctioning an exit for a bid of £80m but his future at the club seems safe for now.