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Who Could Manchester City Realistically Sign This Summer?

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City could struggle in the market for the first time in a decade

Manchester City have spent well over £1 billion since their financial takeover in 2008, from the Abu Dhabi Investment Group. This dramatic windfall has taken the club from mid-table to expected record breakers and title winners.

With key players, like David Silva, set to depart the club this season, and former captain and rock at the back, Vincent Kompany, already gone, there is little doubt that City will be looking to spend heavily again this year.

Liverpool are currently sitting 25 points ahead of the champions in the Premier League, also, perhaps prompting Pep Guardiola to look into the potential transfers which could help them regain the title next season.

However, there is one major issue City have: their two-year European ban. Illegal dealings in the transfer market have forced Financial Fair Play into action, which now means the Citizens are facing a two-year expulsion from all European competition.

So, whilst Premier League titles come and go and as the League Cup seems all but guaranteed, there will be no Champions League title once again. This may give City their biggest roadblock in the transfer market in over a decade, ruining their chances of some elite signatures.

With this said, we take a look at some of the players that Guardiola could potentially sign for next season.

Dayot Upamecano

Despite having the fifth least amount of goals conceded this season, with just 31 scored against them, City are in desperate need for a defender for many reasons.

Firstly, Fernandinho has played a large portion of the season at centre half due to the lack of form from John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, while Aymeric Laporte suffered a knee injury at the start of the season. Furthermore, with Kompany also moving on from the Etihad, the club have been in dire straits at the back at times without his leadership.

Dayot Upamecano has just a year left on his contract, leading to a significant amount of interest for the RB Leipzig defender across Europe.

The 21-year old has impressed in both the Bundesliga and in the Champions League this season, alerting the likes of Chelsea, City and Arsenal.

Upamecano also suits the Guardiola style of play, as the Frenchman is good on the ball and is pacey and powerful when defending, similar to the way current City defender and French countryman, Laporte, plays under Guardiola.

At such a young age, and a nearly expired contract which will significantly drive his price down, Upamecano would be an ideal signing for City at a cheap price. Plus, swapping Leipzig for the Etihad might not be too much of a concern, with titles at Leipzig still far away because of Bayern Munich's continued German dominance.

However, City face face strong competition for the young prospect outside of the Premier League, as well, with Real Madrid and Barcelona both linked with a move for Upamecano.

Milan Skriniar

Sticking with centre-backs and the Sky Blues have also been linked with Inter Milan defender, Milan Skriniar, according to Italian news publication, CalcioMercato.

The Slovakian has been hailed as one of the best defenders in the Serie A for Inter, playing 135 league games for the San Siro club, whilst also being a vital part of the national team after making 31 appearances for Slovakia.

Guardiola has reportedly been interested in Skriniar for some time now, according to CalcioMercato, and this summer could be the season the Inter man makes the swap to the Etihad.

However, this move is only to happen if City are willing to pay a figure of up to £70 million mark, making the Slovakian just £5 million less than the Premier League's best in Virgil van Dijk. Although, signings like van Dijk and Harry Maguire are clear to read: you've now got to spend the big bucks.

The European ban might make things a little harder to persuade Skriniar to depart, with Inter regular in the Champions League via league positions. However, similar to Upamecano, Juventus' stronghold on Serie A makes it a little easier for players outside of this club to leave the league, with titles so hard to come by.

Saul Niguez

David Silva has said he will end his time at City at the end of the season, ending his glamorous 10-year career at the Etihad.

The Spaniard has been argubaly the best player in this historic record-breaking decade at City, winning a total of 11 major trophies, including four league titles under three different managers. Silva will no doubt leave a gargantuan hole in Guardiola's side, one that is perhaps impossible to fill, especially in the immediate future.

However, there are still names out there, such as Atletico Madrid’s midfield star, Saul Niguez. The move is very likely according to Mundo Deporvito, as Barcelona are no longer interested in the Spanish international, paving the way for the Atletico man to join the Manchester club.

The appeal for Saul to join is clear, with his current side lacking in the title races of Barcelona and Real Madrid, whilst the club last season had to settle for the Europa League title rather than the evasive Champions League.

Saul moved to Atletico for £15 million, although he will surely now be sold for a figure much higher than that. The Spaniard’s release clause reportedly at an astounding £135 million, presenting possibly the only thing preventing a move from the Etihad club, as they may look for cheaper alternatives, or stick with Phil Foden.

Fabian Ruiz

Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz could be the cheaper option for City when looking at midfield replacements for their Spanish talisman, Silva.

Ruiz has proven an important part to Napoli’s midfield and could even be compared to Silva in some aspects, as the two Spanish creative midfielders are known for their close control and eye of a needle passing ability unlocking any defence.

The 24-year-old, although cheaper than Saul, will still come with a heavy price tag, according to Italy’s Gazzetto dello Sport, as Napoli will not want to sell their star midfield man for cheap. Gli Azzurri are set to offer Ruiz a contract that will see him at the Stadio San Paulo until 2025, and are unlikely to let him go for less than £69 million.

With the City midfield maestro leaving, however, Guardiola will have to pay a hefty fee if he wants to fill the gap in midfield with either Ruiz or Saul, especially as other clubs track their progress.

Furthermore, despite City future star, Foden, being dubbed as the perfect, natural successor for Silva, it is likely the club will splash the cash once more, going off their recent history in the market.