Man City transfer plans in place after title win as Erling Haaland and academy stars key | Football | Sport


It says something about future planning at Manchester City that it was no more than seconds after Craig Pawson blew time on Manchester United’s defeat to Leicester City that their reaction to a title win appeared.

There were interviews with Pep Guardiola and captain Fernandinho, a celebratory poster of the players and giant banners at the Etihad unveiled.

It was hardly tempting fate of course given City were already 10 points clear and with just formalities to complete, but the speed with which it came out was eye-catching.

To highlight such is not to poke fun at pre-preparedness or presumption even, but to highlight simply how they now plan for success.

If old City were hard-wired to the fact if they aimed for the stars they would usually shoot themselves in the foot, new City believe planning and believing for success will bring it.

Yet, after three Premier League titles in four years and five in the last 10, City are now planning for the next, and perhaps most difficult phase though, namely, how do you keep it going?

What happens after Guardiola calls time? How do you build foundations which anyone, not just one man, can stand on? And how do avoid the fate that has left Manchester United without a title since Sir Alex Ferguson called time in 2013?

Guardiola and his management team, who allowed themselves a night off last night celebrating with their squad at the CFA with beers, wine and pizza, are already deep into the planning for their momentous clash with Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 29.

Behind that plans are already in place for summer recruitment in 2021 and 2022.

City need a striker to spearhead the next push given the exit of Sergio Aguero with Erling Haaland a possibility, certainly in 2022 when City could trigger his £68million release clause with Dortmund.

And they are planning for the possible exit of influential midfielder Fernandinho if he decides to call it a day at the end of this season.

Further down the line, Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez are all 30 and will not be around forever. There are hopes at least two of those five can be replaced by academy graduates with hopes certainly high for midfielder Cole Palmer.

“People don’t realise the hard work that has been made behind the scenes to make the team on the pitch perform well,” he said.

“They have done an amazing job and that’s why our team has been so consistent over the last eight, nine years. We have amazing human beings working for Manchester City off the pitch as well.”

Rodri added: “Big trophies you only win with big teams.”

City will celebrate their remarkable season in front of their fans on the final day of the season when they play Everton.

In the old days they would of course have lost that one like they did their final match at their old ground Maine Road 18 years ago, after much fanfare and emotion going down 1-0 to Southampton.

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