An underachieving club with vast financial resources and a new manager is always going to be linked with a large quantity of players, and for new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, that is indeed the case of his first season at the club.
The now ex-Bayern Munich manager arrives later this summer having just celebrated winning his third successive Bundesliga title, but in Manchester City he faces arguably his biggest ever challenge as a manager.
In addition to the expected arrivals of defender Aymeric Laporte and midfielder İlkay Gündoğan, Guardiola is keen to renovate much of the Man City squad, and to have it done as soon as possible.
To that end, the Mirror are today reporting that the club, who can secure Champions League football with a win against Swansea later today, are looking to raid Arsenal for not one, but two of their stars this summer.
Arsenal were hoping to nail both Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sánchez down to long term contracts bur talks have reportedly stalled, with Sánchez in particular said to be getting more and more frustrated with life at the Emirates.
Wilshere has missed almost the entire season through injury, but is still expected to be named in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the European Championships when it is announced tomorrow morning. The report claims that Man City are hoping that a bid of £40m will be enough to tempt Arsenal into parting with one of their homegrown talents.
The report boldly claims that Guardiola is looking to build his midfield around Wilshere, such the high regard he holds the 24 year old in.
Sánchez, meanwhile has been linked with a return to Serie A with Juventus. He is believed to be fed up with what he perceives as the club’s lack of ambition, and the chance to reunite with the manager who signed him for Barcelona in 2011 would appeal to the Chilean international.
Another fee of £40m has been reported, which would give Arsenal a £5m profit on the amount paid to Barcelona for the 27 year old forward in 2014.
Arsenal losing players to Man City is nothing new, of course. Over the past seven years the Gunners have lost many of their big players, the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Kolo Touré, Gaël Clichy and Bacary Sagna, to the 2014 Premier League champions – but it would still gall Arsène Wenger to see two players leave like this, particularly as he thought the days of his better players being snapped up by rivals were long behind the club.
The report goes on to allege that Tottenham’s Danny Rose and John Stones of Everton are also targets, such is the club’s need to increase its number of homegrown players.