Pep Guardiola insists champions Manchester City will not spend heavily in the summer transfer window, with just “one or two” players set to arrive at the Etihad to fine-tune his squad for next season.
Guardiola revamped his defence last summer, spending heavily on goalkeeper Ederson and defenders Danilo, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy alongside attacker Bernardo Silva. Centre-back Aymeric Laporte joined the club from Athletic Bilbao in January.
City should add a midfielder to their ranks to replace the departing Yaya Toure and could also go for a winger to bolster their attacking options.
With that being said, here are the two ideal signings Guardiola should look to complete in the transfer window, signings that could turn them into Champions League contenders.
Jean Michael Seri (OGC Nice)
With Yaya Toure departing and Fernandinho not getting any younger, OGC Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri would be the perfect player to fill the void when the time comes.
With his composure on the ball, creativity and knack for scoring goals, Seri has established himself as one of the finest holding midfielders in France. The Ivorian can also play as a deep-lying playmaker, making use of his variety of passing abilities to deadly effect.
Seri is a hard-working midfielder, always willing to drive his team forward. Retaining possession and circulating it are accomplished parts of his skill-set, so is his shooting from long range and set-pieces.
The Ivorian isn’t just a one-paced midfielder. He would pick up the ball around the box, look for a teammate or either run with the ball before making a defence-splitting pass. He falls into the category of midfield dictators but has the tendency to go missing in important matches.
However, Seri could develop his game under Guardiola at Manchester City. A midfield trio of Seri, Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne has all the makings of a fantastic partnership.
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
Manchester City tried signing Riyad Mahrez in January but had two bids turned down by Leicester City. However, Guardiola is reportedly planning again for the Algerian and could test Leicester’s resolve in the summer transfer window.
Mahrez played a vital role in Leicester’s dream title-winning season in 2015/16. While the Algerian hasn’t had a rollicking season this time, he has still managed 12 goals and 11 assists in all competitions for the Foxes.
Pace, power, dribbling and direct play is Mahrez in a nutshell. While he is predominantly a right-sided winger for Leicester, the Algerian can play anywhere across the attack and also perform the role of a second striker.
His displays this season have given the indication that Mahrez’s heart lies away from the King Power Stadium. His best chance of prospering again will be with technically gifted players around him – teams who are comfortable in possession, which clearly indicates the 2016 PFA Player of the year would be perfect for champions Manchester City.