Man City could change transfer strategy to Pep Guardiola message on board – Alex Brotherton

It may not feel like it, but Manchester City are approaching an important moment in their history.

After City’s failure to sign Harry Kane in the summer, all the talk about the club was about which striker they will sign. The expected January sale of Ferran Torres to Barcelona has only served to raise expectations of a new arrival, prompting Pep Guardiola to address the Blues’ position in the transfer market.

“We have not bought a striker. Sooner or later this club will have to. One day it will happen,” the Catalan coach told the Daily Mail.

That sounds a bit dramatic at first – City are no strangers to spending money on top quality footballers. But when City, as Guardiola put it, “sooner or later” sign a striker, they will likely find that they change their transfer strategy for the first time since Pep joined the club in 2016.

Unlike many of Europe’s other elite sides, City have remained free of signing solid superstars for big money. Instead of gathering a team of ‘galacticos’, Guardiola has sculpted a team of players that meet specific needs on the field but also fit into his locker room environment.

Some of the players signed under Guardiola – such as Ruben Dias and Rodri – cost more than £ 60 million, but they were not exactly households before arriving in Manchester. City had not received a bidding war to secure its services.

The fact that City have spent a lot of money on names that are somewhat under the radar indicates that they have done scouting in advance to make sure they sign the right man.

Erling Haaland is said to be a Manchester City target, but the Blues 'will not break the bank' for him.
Erling Haaland is said to be a Manchester City target, but the Blues ‘will not break the bank’ for him.

If City follow Erling Haaland next summer as they are expected to do, it would give a departure from the previously mentioned approach.

Of course, there is no doubt that Haaland is an excellent footballer, a striker wanted the world over who at 21 years of age has the potential to become even better.

But even at such a young age, he is already an established superstar. He is represented by one of football’s greatest super-agents, Mino Raiola, and he is wanted by a litany of European clubs.

The heroic deeds of Dusan Vlahovic have shown that he is associated with a number of top European clubs

While his contract with Borussia Dortmund includes a modest £ 65m release clause, contract negotiations would see City drag into a bidding war with the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea. That’s just not quite … City.

Maybe this is a path that after five-and-a-half years of life under Guardiola, City just needs to go down. The Blues could have instead sought to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic, apparently a more City-like signature, but although the same age as Haaland and clearly a natural goal scorer, he represents more of a gamble.

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The Serb has not played at the top of his game as long as Haaland, and he still has to prove his abilities in an elite team or in the Champions League.

Haaland is the real deal and everyone can see it. If Guardiola wants his striker in the summer, City will have to throw caution to the wind and break free from the strict transfer policy that has served them so well.

Do you think Man City should sign Erling Haaland this summer? Follow us City Is Our author Alex Broerton on Twitter to join the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.


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