Transfer News & Odds

Man City summer transfer news, odds and predicted line-ups for 2023-24

By Ben Green

Published: 10:00, 18 July 2023

Following their historic Treble last season, Pep Guardiola will already be thinking about how Manchester City can be even better in 2023/24.

After overseeing triumphs in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, the Spaniard has further cemented his legacy as one of the game’s greatest ever tacticians — if not the greatest.

Such is his nature, though — an unrelenting perfectionist — that he will no doubt have given the upcoming transfer window some consideration. But, how can he possibly improve upon a side already replete with world-class talent every which way?

Well, there are some questions that need answering. They will come in the centre of midfield and on the wing with Ilkay Gundogan leaving and Bernardo Silva reportedly close to the exit door, as well as the full-back quandary with Kyle Walker heavily linked to Bayern Munich.

With that, we’ve combined strong rumours, bookmakers’ favourites and a couple of our own left-field suggestions to look at who City could sign this summer…

Gabri Veiga

Celta Vigo president Carlos Mourino has already confirmed that as many as four Premier League clubs have enquired about Spain’s latest sensation, Gabri Veiga.

“We don’t want to sell Gabri Veiga, but they are going to buy him from us. And we can’t do anything there,” Mourino said.

“We know some of his offers and it is impossible to reach them. There are several teams behind Gabri. Real Madrid? They haven’t asked us, we don’t know if they will have called the player. Of the top 10 in the Premier League, four have asked about him.”

City are thought to be one of the clubs keeping tabs on the 21-year-old midfielder, who has a £35m release clause — and you can see why Guardiola would want him.

Lithe and ethereal, the homegrown sensation ranks third each for touches in the opposition box (69), take-ons attempted (72) and shots (58) in La Liga this season among central midfielders. That line-breaking ability and attacking threat makes him an archetypal Guardiola midfielder.

He would work exceptionally well in the City boss’ 4-3-3 with two mezzalas flanking Rodri; Kevin De Bruyne can exploit the half space on the right, with Veiga offering a similar output on the left. It’s a very tantalising possibility.

Josko Gvardiol

Guardiola is currently stacked with centre-back options but there remains uncertainty over Aymeric Laporte’s future — with the defender featuring just 11 times in the Premier League last season — opening the door for potential reinforcements, and one of those touted is RB Leipzig defender Gvardiol.

Last month, Fabrizio Romano reported that City were progressing in talks with the 21-year-old, though Leipzig would only sell if they received a “huge fee” this summer. According to BBC Sport, RB Leipzig want at least €100m for the centre-back this summer, with his €110m release clause not coming into play until next year’s transfer window.

Precocious, intelligent and aggressive, Gvardiol is considered one of the best left-footed centre-backs in Europe right now and a generational star in the making. The prospect of a Gvardiol-Dias partnership is truly a frightening one, and would prove seriously watertight if made reality.

You can get odds of 1/12 with Sky Bet on Josko Gvardiol joining Man City this summer.

Alphonso Davies

The left-back position was a source of uncertainty for Guardiola throughout the 2022-23 campaign. At various stages, it was occupied by Joao Cancelo, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, Rico Lewis and even Bernardo Silva.

Although, Ake shone in the position in more recent months as an inverted full-back, but he is not a traditional number three and Guardiola will likely be on the hunt for one.

That is where Davies’ name has floated about, more recently by Spanish outlet AS, with the Canadian’s agent Nedal Huoseh ruling out an extension to his existing contract that runs until 2025.

He said: “It’s a chaotic time at Bayern Munich. I’m not sure what’s going on and who we will talk to. There seems to be too much instability and uncertainty about the direction of the club. Maybe, it is better if we wait until 2024 to renew and see how things develop with the club before moving on to a new contract.”

However, Davies himself has also spoken of his dissatisfaction with playing left-back at Bayern Munich, wanting to play further forward.

“I started as a winger, I was signed to be (Arjen) Robben’s replacement,” he told the Say Less podcast.

“And then once David (Alaba) had the hamstring [injury] they put me as a left-back. I thought it was temporary, so I’m like ‘I’m going to come there and ask some questions, and learn the position’. Here we go, three, four years later, stuck there. I’m just waiting for my opportunity to play up top. ‘Phonzi come, left wing!’ I’d be jumping.”

Benjamin Pavard

By all accounts, Pavard wants to leave the Allianz Arena this summer, and that has put some of Europe’s top clubs on high alert. According to Sport1, City are one of those clubs, and it is another move that would seriously solve a full-back quandary for Guardiola.

This looks extremely likely, especially with Kyle Walker a target of Bayern’s — though Man City are reportedly looking to secure the Englishman on a new deal.

Rico Lewis looked stunning in spells but is still raw, while Pavard would offer the kind of experience and ability that could elevate a defence.

With just one year left on his contract, Pavard may be able to join for a cut-price deal, and that must be a seriously tempting proposition for clubs able to match his wage demands. According to the Guardian, Pavard is Man City’s number one target should Walker leave for Bayern.

Michael Olise

Guardiola could also be in the market for wingers this summer. With that uncertainty over Silva and Riyad Mahrez turning 33 next term, the Catalan coach could be looking for an adrenaline shot on the flank, an injection of creativity, skill and panache.

Step up Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, who has been linked with a move by Fichajes.

The 21-year-old enjoyed a stellar 2022-23 at Selhurst Park, where his playmaker exploits yielded 11 assists — only De Bruyne (16), Leandro Trossard (12) and Mohamed Salah (12) managed more in the Premier League. He is twinkle-toed and a passing visionary, two traits that would make Guardiola purr.

In fact, he registered the most assists across 2022-23 among players aged 21 and under in Europe’s top five leagues, finishing ahead of the likes of Jamal Musiala (10) and Gabriel Martinelli (five).

If Guardiola is after a selfless feeder for Erling Haaland, then look no further than Palace’s wing wizard. However, the situation may change with Olise now now a doubt for the start of the new season due to a hamstring injury picked up while on international duty with France at the U21 Euros.

Takefusa Kubo

Once dubbed the ‘Japanese Messi’ during his fledgling years in Barcelona’s famed La Masia and his spell at Real Madrid for three years, only now is Kubo starting to do justice to that moniker.

Deceptive, fleet-footed and potent, Kubo enjoyed a truly breakthrough year at Real Sociedad this campaign.

His 2022-23 numbers yielded nine goals and four assists in LaLiga as the Basque Country club finished fourth, but it is Kubo’s work off the ball that will impress the most. He won possession in the final third 29 times, the third best among players aged 21 or under in Europe’s top five leagues. 

Guardiola loves a willing runner and Kubo combines a work ethic that will chime with his pressing demands — alongside the flair, skill and final-third devastation to boot. At just 21 years of age, he could snap ankles in the Premier League for the foreseeable future and make it to a world-class level under the right supervision.

Three ways Man City could line-up under Pep Guardiola in 2023-24

‘A midfield reboot’

With Mateo Kovacic coming into replace Gundogan’s departure, we could see a new-look central midfield, especially with uncertainties over Phillips’ capabilities…

‘The Bulwark’

Equally, Guardiola may feel that his sole focus should be on his defence and shoring it up completely…

‘The wonderkid’

If Guardiola was really in the mood, he could channel his inner ‘Football Manager’ and go full wonderkid mode, chucking in teenager Rico Lewis. If he really fancied it, throw in Maximo Perrone and Cole Palmer to boot.

It’s ridiculous, but any more ridiculous than playing Bernardo Silva at left-back away at Arsenal? We thought not…

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