Tuesday 27 September 2016

Three player Pep Guardiola could bring to Man City and three that could face the axe

Published 01/02/2016 | 16:30

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola

Manchester City have confirmed that former Barcelona and outgoing Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola will become their new manager next season.

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Here, Press Association Sport looks at three players the Spaniard may try to sign, and three who may be on their way out.

IN

LIONEL MESSI

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The first name on any major club's wishlist, but could the fantasy now become reality? The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has never been tempted to leave Barcelona before but after a difficult year off the field involving a tax fraud investigation, Messi may feel the time is right for a new challenge under his old boss. In 15 years at the Nou Camp, Messi has scored an incredible 443 goals in 508 appearances. A link-up with Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero would be the stuff of dreams for City fans, and a nightmare for Premier League defenders.

PAUL POGBA

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The man Sir Alex Ferguson could not keep at Manchester United could be heading back to the city in a sky blue shirt. Since his acrimonious switch from Old Trafford to Juventus, the France midfielder has gone on to become one of the world's most sought-after players. Skilful and energetic, the 22-year-old would be a perfect fit in City's engine room. A Champions League runner-up with Juve, Pogba may consider he has a better chance of going one better under Guardiola at City.

DAVID ALABA

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Guardiola could raid Bayern for 23-year-old full-back Alaba. The Austria international certainly seems to be open to the idea, having recently described the Premier League as "one of the best leagues in the world". Alaba, who has won four Bundesliga titles with Bayern, is under contract until the summer of 2018 but may still be targeted for a summer switch to the Etihad. Capped 42 times by his country, Alaba has made 194 appearances for Bayern and scored 14 goals.

OUT

YAYA TOURE

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One-time midfield powerhouse Toure looks to be in decline, with his work rate and commitment also coming under scrutiny. The 32-year-old's City future was thrown into doubt two years ago after the infamous 'birthday cake' incident, and the time seems right to move on at the end of the season. Former Etihad boss Roberto Mancini is apparently still keen to bring Toure, who has scored 70 goals in 251 appearances for City, to Inter Milan.

 

VINCENT KOMPANY

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City's inspirational skipper is one of the first names on the team sheet when fully fit, but therein lies the problem. Kompany is currently sidelined by a calf injury and has managed only 12 appearances so far this season. Guardiola will want a centre-half, and captain, who he can rely on to become the bedrock of his defence if he is to turn City into a real force domestically and in Europe, so the Belgium international's time may be up.

JESUS NAVAS

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The Spanish winger has never entirely convinced since joining from Seville in 2013 with his finishing in particular the source of much ridicule. Scored for the first time in 15 months at the turn of the year in a Capital One Cup game against Everton. Not the sort of goal return Guardiola would expect from one of his attacking players, so Navas is likely to be surplus to requirements next season.

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