Manchester City

Man City simply must beat Man United to £63m-rated Italian to retain the title next season

The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern still have plenty to look forward to this season, but that has not deterred them from turning their attention towards the upcoming summer transfer window.

Pep Guardiola’s city slickers look set to turn their imperious form into their second trophy of the season in the coming weeks, and with aspirations of lifting the Champions League still firmly in tact, it seems The Citizens faithful are in the process of witnessing one of the finest seasons in their club’s long history.

City have dominated their local-rivals Manchester United on the field throughout the season so far, but away from the field, The Red Devils got one over the league leaders by beating them to the signature of Alexis Sanchez in the January transfer window. United’s acquisition proved that City’s dominance and financial prowess cannot always guarantee that they will get what they want, but if Pep Guardiola wishes to retain the Premier League title next season then he will have to beat Jose Mourinho to the signing of Marco Verratti.

According to The Daily Mirror, United are planning on embarking on a summer spending spree worth £200 million during the next transfer window which is set to include the acquisition of Paris Saint Germain’s highly-regarded Italian midfielder. At just 25-years-of-age, Verratti (valued at £63 million by Transfermarkt) has proven that he is one of the best central-midfield players in Europe through his performances in both Ligue 1 and The Champions League.

City have a handful of quality midfield options to chose from such as Ilkay Gundogan, Fabian Delph and Fernandinho, and so far this season Guardiola’s options have done a stellar job in helping the club to compete for trophies across multiple competitions. However, centre-midfield is an area of the City squad which is slightly lacking in depth. Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are often deployed in the centre, but both players typically produce their best performances when they play closer to the striker.

With that being said, Guardiola should rival United’s bid for Verratti in the summer to increase the strength in depth of his midfield options. Gundogan has steadily established himself in the first-team in recent months following a lengthy lay-off through injury, but his track record with injuries suggests he cannot be trusted to remain fit for the majority of the season.

Meanwhile, City’s Mr reliable anchorman, namely Fernandinho is approaching 33-years-of-age, so his performances are naturally going to decline during the next few seasons. Guardiola will need to replace him at some point and provide further support to Gundogan in midfield, so beating United to Verratti’s signature should be considered something of a priority for the club this summer.

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