Manchester City fans around the Tavern might be getting slightly ahead of themselves after reports suggested that Pep Guardiola has already decided on his transfer targets for when he is expected to take charge of the Blues at the end of the season, according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
The Spanish manager is still at the helm of German giants Bayern Munich, but according to reports he has already decided on his transfer priorities for City.
Mundo Deportivo claim that the 44-year old has set his sights on younger players in order to reinvigorate the City squad, including the likes of Bundesliga midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Thiago Alcantara, as well as Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.
Guardiola is renowned for utilising ball-playing, deep-lying playmakers, a position which both Gundogan and Alcantara are capable of playing. With powerhouse Yaya Toure aged 32 and expected to be similarly out-of-favour under Guardiola as he was at Barcelona, a world class commander needs to be found as a replacement in the middle of the pitch.
It is believed that City sent a scout to Germany to watch two matches just before the winter break, with both Gundogan and Alcantara inspected for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern respectively as both sides won in the DFB Pokal.
The 25-year-old Gundogan has overcome his previous injury problems to star for Borussia this season, while the 24-year old Alcantara, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona and was his first signing at Bayern when he took over in 2013, could potentially be the ideal replacement for Toure.
Likewise, City have struggled defensively when captain Vincent Kompany has been injured, and the club might be looking for a long-term replacement for the Belgian, with Eliaquim Mangala struggling to maintain consistency. The 21-year old Laporte is regarded as being one of the best young centre backs in world football, though he currently has a £36.5 million buyout clause in his contract.
Manchester City fans, what do you make of these rumours? Let us know in the comments below!