There’s a scene in the Amazon Prime docuseries ‘All or Nothing: Manchester City’ in which the curtain is pulled back on the club’s transfer methods. City Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, is joined around a conference room table at the club’s Etihad Campus by various scouting and recruitment figures. In this setting they discuss the way forward in the transfer market.
A serious injury suffered by Benjamin Mendy has raised the prospect that a replacement might have to be signed in January. Begiristain and his staff, however, already have a shortlist of potential targets drawn up. This is the sort of holistic thinking that hasn’t just seen Man City spend big in recent years, but spend smart too.
Recent rumours linking them with Rodri, Tanguy Ndombele and Florentino Luis underline this. None of these players would be the kind of blockbuster signings to truly excite supporters, but Man City need a central midfielder to eventually succeed the ageing Fernandinho and these three certainly fit the bill.
When City need a certain type of player, a player to fill a position, they draw up a list that gives them different avenues to explore. It could be that they are priced out of a move for Rodri by Atletico Madrid this summer, with the Spanish side desperate to keep the young midfielder. In that case, they would move on to Ndombele, who might be more affordable, or even Luis, who would be the easiest of the trio to lure given Benfica’s status as a selling club.
This sort of strategising is in stark contrast to what we see from some of City’s Premier League rivals, most notably Manchester United. The Old Trafford outfit have the resources to compete with Man City in the transfer market, but they lack the structure and approach of their rivals. Even now, with a summer overhaul expected, there is no sense of a plan in place at United like there is at City.
It’s unlikely that this summer will be a blockbuster one for Manchester City in the transfer market. The core of their team will remain, as it should, with only a handful of signings, at most, made. But it’s this gradual replenishment of the team that has sustained City as a force for so long and it looks set to continue, at least on the basis of recent rumours.
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