Man City player ratings: Man City 5-0 Arsenal
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Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has watched his side produce five-star performances against Arsenal and Norwich in their last two matches. But the Catalan may be concerned about the size of his bloated squad ahead of the transfer deadline, with several players facing uncertain futures.
The Catalan has restored order at the Etihad after the shock 1-0 defeat to Tottenham on the opening day of the season, with the champions smashing 10 goals without reply in their next two games.
The latter victory was painstakingly easy for the hosts, who strolled to victory without Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling in his starting XI.
It just goes to show the true quality of their squad depth at the Etihad, but also the difficulty Guardiola has in handing minutes to his star-studded squad and keeping them happy.
At one point last week, it seemed as if Cristiano Ronaldo was heading to the blue half of Manchester. But talks broke down and the Portuguese veteran has opted to make an emotional return to Old Trafford.
And for now, it does not appear as if there will be any more arrivals to join Jack Grealish in being a Man City newcomer this summer.
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But there could be some departures before the clock strikes 11pm on August 31, which signifies the conclusion of the summer transfer window.
Express Sport looks at four potential transfers which could be sanctioned by Guardiola ahead of the deadline…
Benjamin Mendy’s suspension from the club has raised the question of whether Pep Guardiola could strengthen at left-back by signing a long-term replacement.
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And snapping up Sporting Lisbon sensation Nuno Mendes would certainly fit the bill.
The 19-year-old linked up with Portugal’s Euro 2020 squad after forcing his way into Fernando Santos’ plans, having broken into the Sporting first-team setup with 29 appearances last season.
Mendes is a rapid full-back with an abundance of energy and a wand of a left foot and Portuguese TV channel CMTV claimed City will move to sign him in January.
The Portuguese champions may demand his £60m release clause is paid in full to let the highly-rated starlet depart.
It appears however Paris Saint-Germain are prised to beat City to Mendes’ signature.
But given his tender age and obvious ability, Guardiola may be tempted to green-light the deal as Mendy’s short-term future remains unclear.
One of Guardiola’s trusted lieutenants, the signing of Grealish may have suggested to Silva that his days were numbered at the Etihad.
But if his performance against Arsenal showed anything, it is that the Portuguese is still cherished by the supporters as much as his manager.
The 27-year-old told the club he wanted to leave earlier this summer as Atletico Madrid showed interest in capturing the playmaker.
There were also suggestions Silva could be used as a makeweight in the deal for Harry Kane, but the Tottenham striker is now staying in north London for the foreseeable future.
A late move to Spain cannot be ruled out, although after his performance against Arsenal received a standing ovation from the crowd, he may have second thoughts about heading for the exit.
Since featuring in the first game of the season, Sterling has not started a game for Man City.
There is nothing to panic about — the 26-year-old remains a classy operator at the highest level as evidenced by his Euro 2020 heroics — but there is a feeling that this team may be moving on without him.
Guardiola has handed prominent roles to Grealish on the left, Ferran Torres as the central striker and Gabriel Jesus on the right.
Sterling will no doubt get his chance to impress such is the nature of ‘Pep roulette’, where the Catalan has become notorious for his tinkering and squad rotation habits.
But a player as important as Sterling will not enjoy sitting on the bench for too long, nor would Man City expect him to.
Reported interest from Arsenal and Tottenham in recent months suggests his six-year spell in Manchester could be heading towards its final stages and a big offer could tempt the club into selling.
But as of right now, Sterling looks set to remain at the Etihad for the first part of the season at least.
Guardiola would loathe to lose a player who formed a key role in his defence over the past four years.
But the emergence of the rock solid centre-back partnership between Ruben Dias and John Stones has left Aymeric Laporte feeling left out in the cold.
The Spain international will be frustrated with only being given a bit-part role for the season ahead and was one of the names linked as part of the failed Harry Kane swap deal.
The market for left-sided centre-backs is incredibly small, meaning Laporte could easily find a new club.
Convincing Man City to sell for anything less than £50m may be difficult, especially when considering he seems to have overcome his injury problems.
But with Nathan Ake as a deputy, Guardiola may reluctantly allow Laporte to go if he receives a lucrative offer.
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