After winning only the second-ever continental treble in the history of British football clubs, numerous high-profile players are leaving Manchester City and seeking new challenges in their career this summer transfer window, including the likes of Riyad Mahrez and İlkay Gündoğan. The 52-year-old Spaniard Pep Guardiola will have big shoes to fill for his squad in the 2023/2024 Season, which be starting in less than a month’s time from now.
Mahrez and Gündoğan Leaving Manchester City This Summer
German central midfielder Gündoğan was the first player leaving Manchester City this summer transfer window, after the former Citizen agreed to join Guardiola’s former playing and managing club FC Barcelona. The 32-year-old from Gelsenkirchen moved to Manchester City from German Bundesliga 1’s Borussia Dortmund after the 2015/2016 Season, and made a total of 304 appearances in seven seasons for the club. Prior to leaving Manchester City, he has contributed many title-winning goals for the Blue Side of Manchester as well.
Apart from losing his ex-captain to the Spanish La Liga powerhouse, Guardiola will also be without high-scoring winger Mahrez for good, following an agreement of the latter with Saudi Pro League‘s Al-Ahli earlier this week. The Algeria national team skipper, who are leaving Manchester City after five seasons with the club, registered 78 goals in 236 appearances for Guardiola’s side, and will cost Al-Ahli £30m for this transfer. Mahrez is set to reunite with fellow ex-Premier League stars Édouard Mendy and Roberto Firmino at Al-Ahli after leaving Manchester City to join the oil-rich region.
Who Will Join Mahrez and Gündoğan in Leaving Manchester City?
Mahrez and Gündoğan are not the only notable names who are leaving Manchester City this summer, because many members in Guardiola’s squad are rumoured to join others clubs, namely Kyle Walker, João Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, etc.; The England international has been linked with a move to Germany’s Bayern Munich, while Cancelo is likely not to be included in Pep’s plan for the coming season after their shocking fallout during the mid-period of the last season and the Portuguese midfielder star is heavily pursued by Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal.
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Joško Gvardiol Agreed to Join Manchester City
With iconic stars leaving Manchester City, it is evident that the club will require drastic changes and immediate replacements since the new season is just around the corner. In relation to this, the Citizens had already signed former Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovačić earlier this summer. The 29-year-old player will be deployed as a direct successor to Gündoğan by Guardiola in the central midfield area, having also inherited the former Manchester City skipper’s no. 8 jersey in the team.
Kovačić will come across a familiar face in Manchester City, because his fellow teammate from the Croatia national team, centre-back Joško Gvardiol has just agreed to join the club from RB Leipzig. The reported transfer fee for the young footballer will cost Manchester City £86.7 million, which happens to be the highest amount paid for a defender in the history of football, surpassing the previous record of £80 million for Harry Maguire’s move to Manchester United from Leicester City. His arrival will elevate Manchester City’s defensive game as the player has been praised “The Next Big Thing” by the football world.
Barcelona’s Raphinha in Manchester City’s Radar
The existing Manchester City squad will be needing reinforcements in its flanker department since a star winger like Mahrez is leaving Manchester City this summer. In regard to this, Pep Guardiola is looking forward to sign Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Raphinha to replace his former Algerian player in the right winger role. But the transfer back to England for the 26-year-old will not be easy since he had only moved to the Spanish side from fellow Premier League club Leeds United a year ago. Since arriving at Barcelona, the Porto Alegre-born player registered 10 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions for the club last season.
With so many players leaving Manchester City this summer, how well do you think Pep Guardiola’s squad can play in this season’s Premier League, UEFA Champions League and domestic cup competitions? Leave us your thoughts and have a chat with us in the comment section below!