Khaldoon Al Mubarak has suggested there will be significant changes at the Etihad Stadium this summer as the Blues look to move on from the disappointment of last season
Manchester City have given the strongest hint yet that a significant number of the current squad will be shown the exit door this summer.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who has become known for his honesty regarding matters at the club, has already admitted that last season’s performance fell well below expectations back in Abu Dhabi, where City owner Sheikh Mansour resides.
A host of players are likely to leave this summer, including stalwarts Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta, as well as expensive flops Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony.
Incoming coach Pep Guardiola was given full backing to “transform the team to a whole new level” in the first part of Al Mubarak’s end-of-season interview, released on Sunday evening, and the Catalan will be given scope to discard those who underperformed in Manuel Pellegrini’s final campaign.
Al Mubarak also referred repeatedly to the need for passion and commitment, and it appears several players have fallen short of that requirement and will now be sold.
“We have to keep that balance between what we have built and the future,” Al Mubarakt told City TV. “We have to keep a balance between age groups, between young players and experienced players, and all this balance is really in the hands of Pep.
“Pep has a particular way he wants to manage the squad and a particular way he wants to play and I think we will need particular players who will join the team that fit and be moulded to the way he would like this team to play.
“There will also be some players that the time is right for them to move on. I think we will have some changes this summer. We will invest as we have always done in this club, in this team, and we will provide the necessary resources for Pep to build a team that has the ambition and the capability to go and win back this Premier League for us, to go as far as we can and try and win the Champions League and keep pushing at the cups.”
Willy Caballero, Aleksandar Kolarov, Martin Demichelis and Fernando are all facing up to futures away from the club, while there are also doubts surrounding Samir Nasri, and even Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart.
It is understood City had been open to the prospect of moving Kompany on earlier this year, but his four-month injury lay-off is thought to have scuppered those plans.
In the case of Hart, a summer exit for the highly regarded England No.1 remains unlikely, but any prospect of a rumoured £40 million bid from Everton would surely tempt City, with Guardiola known to be targeting a goalkeeper who fits more easily into his football philosophy.
And while City are willing to back Guardiola in the transfer market this summer, the club are also hopeful that the former Bayern Munich coach will find room for a number of young talents coming through the ranks.
Youngsters Bersant Celina, Aleix Garcia, Manu Garcia and Tosin Adarabioyo are all expected to play some part in City’s pre-season preparations this summer, while 16-year-old prospect Brahim Diaz has been tipped to get a taste of first-team action in the short-term future.
“That’s one of the reasons why Pep was so highly considered,” Al Mubarak said on the subject of youth. “That ethos we have at Man City that Pep… I think actually believes to the bone. He has done that with Barcelona, he has done that with Bayern Munich.
“Even with the abundance of talent he had with both first teams, Pep always has a knack for talent and he loves to find young players that have incredible talent. He finds that talent and nurtures it and you find them evolve and succeed at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“We have that at our club. We have incredible talent today. It’s the first time in the years since we have started this experience that truly, and at every level almost within the football club, we have incredible talent. We really do.
“This is an organisation that has won the Under-10 national championship, the Under-13s, Under-15s and the Under-18s this year. We are competitive with a lot of talent across all age levels going all the way to EDS and Pep, I think, will enjoy that and will find a lot of gems we are going to produce.”