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Three players Pep Guardiola could let go in the Summer

Bengaluru, Feb 5: Manchester City could be all set for a rebuild again in the Summer as Pep Guardiola is apparently looking to offload as many as six stars from the current line-up. After two consecutive successful seasons, Guardiola is arguably enduring one of the worst campaigns of his managerial career.

They are already 22 points behind league leaders Liverpool and apparently Pep has warned the players that the future of six stars is under scrutiny. Leroy Sané, Gabriel Jesus, Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Benjamin Mendy and Nicolas Otamendi are believed to be under the radar. Manchester City spent almost £250m to acquire the players and now could be braced for offers.

However, getting rid of all of them at a go still looks unrealistic but surely there is a bit of deadwood to clear. Out of six, at least three players could be leading the line of departure in terms of their recent performance and below we look into such players whose future could be on the crossroads:

Nicolas Otamendi:

Otamendi has regularly improved since Guardiola took the controls at Etihad and the Argentine was particularly excellent in their record title-winning 2017/18 season. However, the Argentine has often been vulnerable without a proper leader at the back. The departure of Kompany and injury to Laporte has exposed the 31-year-old's weakness and come, Summer, he is likely to be sold to fund a move for a new presence in the box. At his age, it will also be good for the player to seek new pastures in life where he won't have such immense pressure to deliver every time.

John Stones:

Once highly rated by many, the English defender has not fully developed since his Everton days. The 25-year-old has featured in only eleven Premier League fixtures this season and has struggled to earn his manager's trust. His game has often been irked with losing possession and missing passes and improving the backline hence could be a necessity in the coming months.

Leroy Sane:

The German winger has been out injured since before the season properly started but once he finally returns in the last half of the season, he could just give Guardiola's side a timely late push. However, with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2021 and no sign of renewal in progress, Pep just could let him go, replacing him with a better long-term prospect. Bayern were heavily interested in the player and selling the German international could finance a massive transfer amount in the summer.

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Story first published: Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 15:44 [IST]
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