Man City & Tottenham
Two articles in the Athletic and Times on Monday suggest that Man City and Tottenham may face significant challenges in January, as they attempt to recruit new players.
Man City are 9 points behind Liverpool in the title race following Sundays’ 3-1 defeat at Anfield.
At the same time, many are wondering if Pep Guardiola will manage to win the Champions League before his contract at City expires.
Guardiola’s Man City contract expires at the end of next season, and there’s little to suggest that the Spanish boss will extend his stay at the Etihad.
As for Tottenham, how much longer will Mauricio Pochettino stick around for?
Sheffield United drew 1-1 at Spurs on Saturday, as the Lilywhites continue to flounder in the Premier League.
Man City’s recruitment problems
Writing in the Athletic, Sam Lee has looked into the likelihood of City signing new players in the new year.
It’s worth noting from the outset that “Guardiola insists they won’t be signing anybody” in the next transfer window.
But, considering City’s standing in the league, coupled with the extensive injury problems at the club, could that position change?
One headache for City is that they’ve maxed out their quota of foreign players:
By the mid-point of the summer, City had reached their limit of overseas players, meaning if they wanted to sign a foreign defender then (Nicolas) Otamendi, or another foreign player, would need to leave.
Sam Lee notes that City would sell Nicolas Otamendi in January if the right offer came along. But is that likely to happen?
If nobody would or could sign Otamendi in the summer, will anybody try in the winter window? Perhaps, if demands are lowered.
How City ended up with a defence not fit for champions
Covers recruitment and selection – e.g. there are reasons why there are only three senior centre-backs, but surely Mendy could’ve been handled better this week?
Few things to mull over https://t.co/2F7lhPXMca
— Sam Lee (@SamLee) November 11, 2019
Alternatively, Man City fans are braced for Leroy Sane’s possible exit in January:
City want Sane to stay but he appears no closer to extending his stay at the club and, with 18 months on his contract, Bayern are in a stronger negotiating position.
The Athletic understands that City are now drawing up plans to replace him.
Who could Man City buy in January?
Sam Lee throws several names into the ether.
Firstly, there’s Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell, who has been a long-term Sky Blues target.
However, the reporter believes that City’s chances of signing Chilwell are “unlikely”.
Other defenders linked to City include Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, and Benfica’s Ruben Dias – although Dias is unattainable right now until City manage to offload a foreign player.
Lastly, Sam Lee suggests that City may target Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal if they sell Sane.
Will Tottenham move in the January market?
Turning to Spurs, Times reporter Gary Jacob has outlined Mauricio Pochettino’s targets in order to revitalise Tottenham:
He wants at least three defenders, a holding midfielder and two attacking players, including a striker — and that is without the threat of Harry Kane and others leaving.
But how realistic is it that Tottenham make any signings whatsoever in the next window?
As has often appeared to be the case, those decisions lie with Daniel Levy, not Pochettino.
And, the Times indicate that Levy is still on the fence about whether to sanction a Spurs spending spree:
Pochettino again said that he might not get the time to build “version 6.0” of his side, and the club must decide whether to push the boat out in January given that he may not want to be at the club in the summer.
The fear for Spurs fans is that if Pochettino isn’t given new players in the new year, the Argentine will leave as soon as a better offer comes along.