Manchester City have appeared over the last month to be in a desperate struggle to secure Liverpool's Raheem Sterling having reportedly made multiple offers. This has turned Sterling's head and he is per a report in the Guradian unwilling to play for Liverpool in the future. Sterling ticks all the boxes for the Blues: Young, English, pacey, fitting a real need and someone who can stay with the club for years. Manchester City badly needs some youth and pace in the side. The club's wide players have largely underwhelmed in recent seasons, running through the likes of Adam Johnson, Scott Sinclar and Jesus Navas. Each of those three out-and-out wingers had severe limitations on their game and in general lacked an end product.Another issue is the aging core that the club posses now. the Blues last season had the oldest team in a major European league that finished in the top half of the table. Last season, James Milner who has left the club to join Liverpool started almost half the Premier League fixtures playing in a wide area, despite being a natural central midfielder. In other words, the Blues need help in wide attacking areas.
At 20 years-old, Sterling would give the Blues something entirely different. A player who has already demonstrated he can be deployed in multiple roles and has an end product would provide a tremendous upgrade to the club. Sterling as perhaps the next great English player would also be highly marketable despite his somewhat checkered off-the-pitch reputation. Sterling's ability to finish chances, make the right runs and help lead quick counter attacks would add a dimension to Manchester City that has been not quite clicking on all cylinders last season - pace and positioning in the 18 yard box were two of the major frustrations in Manchester City's underwhelming title defense last year.
Reports have emerged that the Blues intend to pursue Aston Villa holding midfielder Fabian Delph who is an England international. Delph would be a good signing for Manchester City, but strangely the club did not take the opportunity to sign him when he was available for free in January before he signed an extension with Aston Villa. Today, Micah Richards who came through Manchester City's system and was on the clubs books until last month revealed that Delph has consulted with him about the potential move.
Richards whose Manchester City career thrived until about March 2012 when he was permanently replaced in the starting XI by Pablo Zabaleta as the Blues chased down Manchester United to win the Premier League title revealed the following to PA Sport.
"It's tough isn't it? If he's got guarantees to play… He's been unbelievable for Aston Villa.
"Every player wants to play at the highest level. If he's going to be playing Champions League… I don't know, but if he's going there to be a squad player, then no.
"James Milner has played six or seven positions and still wanted to leave.
"So if he gets assurances he's going to play then the decision is his. I wouldn't say don't go to Manchester City, because if he's playing well he could play.
"If you're good enough you'll play.
"It's just being given that chance. If he (City manager Manuel Pellegrini) is going to give him the chance to play then it's hard to turn down the chance of playing Champions League football.
"To be fair he has asked me what I think about the situation. I told him I can't comment to be honest.
"I don't want to say go there and then he (Pellegrini) doesn't play him – he'll be ringing me up afterwards!"
While Delph is unlikely to play every game for the Blues, his strength, versatility and understanding of the English game means he probably will play nearly as often as Milner. Delph also posses a good sense of tactical awareness often positioning himself well both when his team is in possession and when playing behind the ball. Central Midfield is a problem area for the club as Fernando has not really worked out and Frank Lampard ended playing far more often than expected last season in his Premier League swan song, including starting the last six matches of the season. It is conceivable that Delph could start at least half the Premier League fixtures if he signs with City.
Delph and Sterling both would be good English signings, the likes of which Manchester City have not made since Milner joined the club from Aston Villa in 2010. Now it will be important to see whether the club's brass which has typically not liked buying higher-profile English players complete these deals.