When superstar coach Pep Guardiola took over the reins at Manchester City this season, fans and pundits greeted him with great optimism. After all, they had signed a coach who had highly successful stints with clubs of the stature of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Guardiola was widely expected to at least win the Premier League for City, let alone go the distance in the Champions League. Come March, City are 3rd in the league, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea and have experienced a highly inconsistent season. While one cannot solely blame Guardiola for this, he needs to sort out the problems in his squad and sign able reinforcements in the summer.
Here are 5 players Manchester City could sign in the summer:
1) Samir Handanovic
The Claudio Bravo experiment failed miserably for Guardiola, as the former Barcelona keeper has struggled to adjust to the Premier League and has also lost his spot to Willy Caballero. While Caballero is a fine goalkeeper, he is better of as a no. 2 and Guardiola would look to add a reliable goalkeeper to his squad. Inter Milan goalkeeper Handanovic can be the one who could ease City's goalkeeping woes. Despite being on the wrong side of 30, he could end up being a highly effective purchase, one who would come cheap. While his ability with his feet is not known, he is a fine shot stopper and could be a good addition to the Etihad outfit
2) Virgil Van Dijk
The Dutch centre-half has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and has been on the radar of a number of clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester United. Manchester City have had major problems with their defence with Vincent Kompany struggling with injuries and John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi being hardly convincing. Van Dijk is the type of player, Pep Guardiola craves for, good in the air, good with his feet and strong. While he would not come cheap, City would have no problems in splashing the cash should he decide to join them. A centre-back partnership of Stones and Van Dijk could be their first choice for years to come.
The former Malaga man has been linked with a move to the Etihad outfit having grown frustrated with the lack of first-team opportunities under Zinedine Zidane. David Silva has been a fine servant for Manchester City but will not get any younger, and Isco could be the perfect replacement for him. He could add the much-needed creativity to the City midfield and could develop playing under Guardiola. While he has also been linked with Juventus and Chelsea, he looks most likely to join City and could prove to be a gamechanger for Guardiola.
4) Ricardo Rodriguez
The Swiss left back was tipped to leave Wolfsburg in the summer but somehow stayed there for another season. And while he looks set to leave them this season, City should be all over him. City have had major problems in that position with both Kolarov and Gael Clichy well past their prime. Rodriguez is only 24 and is one of the best left-backs in Europe. He is also a dead ball specialist and has scored some stunning free kicks for Wolfsburg. While he has his eyes set upon Inter Milan, Guardiola must convince him to join City to ease his fullback/wingback woes.
5) Stephen Lichsteiner
The Juventus defender is not the youngest of options available in the market, he could be a good signing as he is still very competitive. The arrival of Dani Alves has put his spot at Juve in doubt and he could look to join City to experience the Premier League. While Guardiola might look at younger options, Lichsteiner could be a good part-time option and would be better than Sagna and Zabaleta have been this season.