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5 Transfer Targets for Pep Guardiola

The battle for the Premier League title has started before a ball has even been kicked. The arrival of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Jose Mourinho at United has intensified the rivalry between the red and blue half of Manchester with the clubs tightly placed in the title betting.

Pep was introduced to the City fans last week but has yet to really delve into the transfer market. Here are five players that could be wearing the blue of City before the season gets underway.

Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich
Joe Hart’s recent troubles in goal have been well documented and the new City manager will be acutely aware that his current goalkeeper could be their weak link. With this in mind, the potential arrival of arguably the best stopper in the world would give the whole squad a lift.

Neuer has been at Bayern since 2011 and could be persuaded to leave the Bundesliga champions and follow Guardiola to Manchester. The 30 year-old World Cup winner is not only one of the best keepers in the world but his ability and eagerness to get on the ball ensures Bayern effectively play with a sweeper and not a traditional keeper.

It would take an astronomical bid to prise Neuer from the German champions but Manchester City have deep enough pockets to cover the fee and wages he would demand.

John Stones – Everton
The cultured Everton defender was denied a January transfer switch to West London when Chelsea came calling but a move to Manchester City to bolster their defensive ranks looks highly probably this summer.

Stones failed to feature for England at Euro 2016 but this has possibly only enhanced his reputation. The 22 year-old centre back is a naturally gifted footballer and has no shortage of suitors despite a poor end to the season for Everton.

His reading of the game is exceptional and he rarely needs to dive into challenges. Despite his young age, he already looks like a seasoned professional and is primed for a move to a top club playing Champions League football.

Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich
Another Bayern player that could be on their way to Manchester is Joshua Kimmich after the 21 year-old German international shot to prominence this summer after an impressive tournament in France. He was called into action at right back after injury to Benedikt Howedes and ended up being named in the UEFA team of the tournament.

Kimmich, despite only playing 32 league matches for Munich, is held in high regard and has been praised by the hierarchy at the club for his attacking and defensive abilities. His versatility would be a massive plus for Manchester City who will be hoping to play in excess of 60 games next season.

Jeroen Zoet – PSV
If City fail to sign Neuer during the summer, then PSV’s Jeroen Zoet is another goalkeeper that will be on Guardiola’s radar.

The 25 year-old would command a more modest fee and has plenty of potential to improve in the coming years. Zoet has won back-to-back league titles with PSV and made his international debut for the Netherlands at the back end of last year.

Zoet is an excellent shot stopper and his concentration levels are renowned too. This would bode well if he made the move to City as he would not face a barrage of shots on a weekly basis.

Lucas Hernandez – Atletico Madrid
The 20 year-old French defender made massive strides with Atletico Madrid last season and his performances against Barcelona in the Champions League caught the eye.

Hernandez is an excellent centre back who looks to defend first and attack second, he rarely dives into challenges and his intelligence on the pitch and reading of the game ensured a seamless transition into Atletico’s first team from the youth ranks.

A signing with the profile of Hernandez would add some much needed youth to a backline that only contains two players under 30 years-old (Otamendi and Mangala).