Manchester City rejoiced when their ban from the Champions League was thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Now they return to Europe’s top table vindicated and free to spend again. Rumours of a massive war chest are unsurprising and Hollywood names could be on their way to the Etihad Stadium.
Now with no fear of punishment, Pep Guardiola will be looking to fix up the holes in his squad.
The first item on his agenda will undoubtedly be his defence. The departure of Vincent Kompany as well as Aymeric Laporte’s injury has caused the Citizens to look vulnerable again. However, if there’s one thing history has taught us, cash can fix the leakiest defences.
On the list of names linked to Manchester City is Bayern Munich defender David Alaba. The Austrian has worked under Guardiola before and it’s no surprise to see them linked again.
Able to work in midfield and on the left or in the centre of defence, he’d be perfect for the mould of defender he wants.
He has also been successful both domestically and on the continent for Bayern.
Also linked to the Citizens is the towering Napoli centre-back, Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Napoli star has been a titanic presence at the back for the Neapolitans. His pace and strength is a bonus, but he’s also technically sound and a capable leader. With the addition of these two, City would on paper at least be more of a match for Liverpool’s defence.
Further up the pitch, Guardiola may look to replace David Silva’s presence in midfield.
For this role, Pep needs a hard worker, an elite passer, and someone who knows his system.
Enter Thiago Alcantara. Virtually impregnable to the press, he’d slot perfectly into one of the more advanced midfield roles for Guardiola’s side. Best of all, Bayern Munich has confirmed he is up for sale. If his £30 million price tag is correct, City have a bargain on their hands.
The departure of Leroy Sane has also left a hole in Guardiola’s squad that needs filling.
The German flyer’s injury deprived Guardiola’s side of a valuable weapon off the bench. A replacement then will need an eye for goal as well as blinding speed.
Adama Traore of Wolves could well be the perfect solution. One of the finest dribblers in the Premier League, his pace and power coming off the bench could be a lethal weapon.
These options are just a few of the many for Manchester City to pick from. Whoever comes in will need to adapt quickly. If they manage to bring in the right signings though, Guardiola could well forge a dynasty.