Incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is planning a huge squad overhaul with as many as eight new signings planned for the summer.
The Spanish tactician will replace Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad this summer, and ambitious plans will reportedly see the club look to bolster their squad significantly.
According to ESPN FC, Guardiola’s priority will be to rebuild the defence, and that involves moves for Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and Everton star John Stones.
Furthermore, it is also claimed that he wants to sign a goalkeeper, two full-backs, a central midfielder, a quick winger and a back-up striker to Sergio Aguero.
While ESPN FC suggest that the 45-year-old has names in mind in certain positions, it remains to be seen how successful he is in securing their signatures this summer as he looks to stamp his mark on the City team.
Among the names linked with a move to Manchester in the report are Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ilkay Gundogan, although no official word has come from any concerned parties regarding their respective futures.
Nevertheless, Guardiola appears to have successfully identified the key areas in which City must strengthen if they are to compete both at home and in Europe next season.
Both Laporte and Stones will allow Guardiola’s side to play out from the back given their ability on the ball as well as their defensive skills, while the likes of Gundogan will certainly fit the former Barcelona boss’s vision for the way in which his team will play.
However, even if the Spaniard is able to sign his desired targets, this is certainly going to be the toughest test of his managerial career to date. Aside from the increased competition in England, Guardiola has never had to lead such an overhaul of this magnitude at either Barcelona or Bayern Munich.
While he has done remarkably well to instil his ideas, philosophies and culture in those two roles, many of the pieces have already been in place for him to succeed.
Naturally, having such substantial transfer funds at the Etihad will help, but he will be under pressure to ensure that he buys the right individuals and can get the team to gel almost immediately.