The regular season is done and it has been a wonderful season at that with plenty of ups and downs. I think it is time that we look to the off season for potential players during the transfer period. There are a lot of faces that could change this season considering that City will be looking to defend their crown and venture into the European madness.
Our current roster and their value can be found here.
This is going to be a very busy transfer window not just for us but also for our competition in England and Europe respectively.
In England United will be looking to shore up a new and improved squad for title contention next season, they are rumored to be looking to sign the Japanese star from Borrusia Dortmund Shinji Kagawa. Meanwhile expect Berbatov to be unloaded by United to help relieve some of their spending this off season.
Chelsea will be not be retaining Didier Drogba and could potentially lose their defensive rock Ivanovic who they valued roughly £20 million when Madrid came calling. Lackluster Torres has found a late spark with Chelsea as of late and their final against Bayern will determine what other positions they will be going after this off-season. They have been connected to Eden Hazard however it gossip seems to indicate that Eden will be wearing City blue next season.
One of the more interesting teams to follow will be Arsenal. Having lost Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, they managed to finish a distant 3rd in the EPL. Arsenal will want to persuade Van Persie to stay and his wife had hinted that they are happy in England, Juventus has however already offered a package for Van Persie, £28 million and a weekly salary of £180,000.
Tottenham Hotspur's will have a fight this off season. In my opinion, bigger then Arsenal. Luka Modric had a 'gentelman's agreement' that he would be allowed to leave this past transfer window. Tottenham could be dumped out of the ECC if Chelsea beat Bayern which would cause unrest among their top two stars in Modric and Bale. Edin Dzeko has already tried to lure Modric away from Hotspur by telling him he would enjoy playing for City and that City would be happy to have him.
Newcastle are the new kids on the block and in the same position Tottenham not too long ago. They have a terrific striker duo in Cisse and Demba Ba. Cisse has already appeared to be on Mourinho's wish list and unless Mourinho's fails to attract any other striker he might extend his reach to a player Newcastle desperately need for next season. I don't expect too many teams to raid Newcastle this off season due to their lack of media exposure, however I would be worried for next season if I was a Newcastle supporter if they top this one.
In Europe it is a similar picture with different teams.
Real Madrid will be looking to use striker Higuain as bait for player Mourinho has on his wishlist. As mentioned earlier Mourinho is looking at Ivanovic on defense, he also has a striker wishlist which include Van Persie, Aguero, Dzeko and Cisse among others. Expect Real Madrid to pose a serious threat as usual considering their squad is young and full of talent. At this point all they are doing is adding quality depth.
Barcelona will be coming for revenge. They ended their season on a low note, getting knocked out of the ECC by a stout Chelsea and losing the league title to Real Madrid. Their success depends on their new coach Tito and his ability to carry over Messi's spectacular form. Their outlook looks to be the same as Real Madrid, they have talent flowing out the ears at every level.
Bayern Munich has an extremely strong and under rated squad. Expect many clubs come knocking on the door for striker Mario Gomez. If Gomez leaves for the charm of Real Madrid, I see them replacing Gomez with Higuain or another striker. Edin Dzeko has been mentioned to be in the sights of Bayern however I only expect this if Gomez leaves Germany. They will have to compete with BD to regain the Bundesliga. A tough task if Shinji Kagawa stays with BD.
Juventus could be the busiest European team outside of England this off season. They look to replace Del Piero who has been linked with Arsenal. They are also looking to add attacking force with their recent links to Edin Dzeko. Juventus are also in need of a youth movement. They will be playing in the ECC and not too long ago they were in the second division of Italian football. They need players across the board, not just for depth but key positions such as a creative midfielder and a tall striker for their long ball play.
Which brings us back to City. We have 24 players, so there is room to bring in players without selling too many however there is a lot of dead weight that I think Mancini should take a careful look at. Kolo Toure, Barry and Tevez should be immediate trades. The age and the minimal action of Barry and Kolo Toure respectively are enough for them to move away from City. In the case of Tevez, I have not gotten over how Tevez acted in Munich, the things he said about the city of Manchester, his lack of the English language, his baby like attitude and his lack of impact the last couple of crucial games against Newcastle, United and QPR.
The players I consider on the fringe are de Jong, Milner and Johnson.
Both have not done much to warrant a first team selection. Johnson has been lackluster finding the net only 6 times, the return of Guidetti does not help his cause and Milner has been bumped to the side due to re-emergence of Samir Nasri. Add in the fact that City will boost the midfield position this summer with the possible acquisition of Eden Hazard, there will be very little room for Milner. Nigel de Jong would see a reduced role as well because of the purchase of Hazard which could see Mancini use only Yaya Toure in situations where a defensive midfielder would be needed, Real Madrid have also been looking at de Jong. Nigel is one my favorites so I hope there will be room for him in the future squad.
Edin Dzeko and Balotelli could end up staying with the team due to their efforts in the QPR struggle. One of the two could be pushed out in the end, the likely of the two being Edin Dzeko considering that Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are all looking at the striker.
Players City are looking at are Eden Hazard, Younes Belhanda, Robin Van Persie, Paul Pogba, Sime Vrsaljko, Javi Martinez and Nicolas Gaitan.
By no means was this article complete, it is very early in the off-season to have enough news and evidence to back up any of these assumptions so hopefully you will all comment below on players you feel should leave and stay, who should be bought and who should be loaned out.
Remember we do have players that might bring in a bit of cash; Adebayor anyone?