Football

Pep Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City.

Five players Pep Guardiola could bring to the Premier League

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At last, football's worst kept secret has been revealed.

Pep Guardiola has agreed a three-year contract with Manchester City in a move that brings the biggest name in football management to the Premier League.

Having managed at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola has coached some of the world's greatest talents and City will hope their new appointment can bring with him fellow arrivals. To that effect, here are five signings the Spaniard could make in his first transfer window in Manchester.

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1. John Stones

John Terry's departure from Chelsea will open up a very obvious space in the Blues' lineup, but City will undoubtedly enter the inevitable bidding war for Stones.

Though his performances have dipped in recent weeks, amid speculation that he could command in the region of a £50 million fee, the English centre-back remains a special talent.

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One of Guardiola's first acts upon assuming the management role at Barcelona was to re-sign centre-back Gerard Pique from Manchester United and Stones certainly fits into a similar mould.

The 21-year-old is renowned for his composure in possession and Guardiola would undoubtedly encourage him to build attacks from the back.

With Champions League qualification no longer possible for Everton, and Eliaquim Mangala seemingly terrified of a football, this could be a move that suits both parties.

Chelsea v Everton - Premier League

2. Toni Kroos

Considering Guardiola's decision to offload Yaya Toure from Barcelona in 2010, central midfield looks likely to be a position of change for City and Kroos would be a quality acquisition.

According to a biography on the Spaniard, written by Marti Perarnau, Guardiola reportedly demanded that Bayern were not to sell Kroos under any circumstances.

The German pass-master grew increasingly unsettled during his last year in Germany, however, and in the summer of 2014, against his manager's wishes, completed a £20 million transfer to Real Madrid.

As one of the most technically gifted players in European football, Kroos has always impressed Guardiola and following the suspension of Madrid's transfer ban, this reunion is very possible. 

Manchester United v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final

3. Thiago Alcantara

Probably the more likely of City's inevitable midfield signings.

Guardiola and Alacantra appear to share a special footballing relationship after the latter passed up on the opportunity to become Xavi's heir at Barcelona, in order to follow his former manager to Germany.

Though a serious knee injury prevented the Spaniard from playing for almost a year, Alcantara has established himself at Bayern as one of Europe's most promising players and at just 24 should still have his peak years ahead of him.

Though dynamic, City's current midfield of Fernandhino, Fernando and Toure are unlikely to fit into Guardiola's philosophy and Alcantara is likely to be top of his shopping list. 

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BAYERN MUNICH-ALCANTARA

4. Neymar

An ambitious target, but a possibility nonetheless.

Just last week Neymar publically stated: "Guardiola is a guy that I really admire and who I would love to work with". Ultimately, then, City would be foolish to completely rule out a move for the Brazilian

Though the 23-year-old is reportedly happy at Barcelona, who look set on retaining their La Liga title after defeating Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the weekend, working under Guardiola could turn his head.

Guardiola's departure from the Camp Nou in 2012 came a year before Neymar's arrival from Santos in 2013 and the Brazilian may wish to prove himself under arguably the world's finest manager.

In all likelihood, City would have to break the £86 million fee Real Madrid spent on Gareth Bale to attract Neymar to Manchester; however, as a potential Ballon d'Or winner, it could still be a worthy investment.

The Brazilian has 21 goals in 29 appearances this season, whilst the pairing of Neymar and Sergio Aguero in the same forward line would strike fear into all other sides across Europe.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-ATLETICO

5. Lionel Messi

If Neymar is ambitious then this may be considered borderline madness; however, if Messi has any desire to play in the Premier League then City have instantly become his preferred destination.

Under Guardiola's tenure at Barcelona, Messi progressed from an outrageously talented prospect to arguably the greatest footballer in modern history.

From 2008 to 2012, Messi won two Champions League trophies, three La Liga titles as well as four Ballon d'Or awards with Guardiola quickly recognising the Argentinian's incredible ability.

Barcelona's coach Josep Guardiola (R) ce

Messi recently expressed his intention to remain at Barcelona and with the club aiming to repeat the success of last year's treble, who could blame him?

However, if anything were to alter that desire, City under Guardiola are instantly in the box seat for Messi's signature.

Who do you think Pep Guardiola should sign for Manchester City this summer? Give us your opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Neymar
Manchester City
Premier League
Football
Lionel Messi
Bayern Munich
Barcelona

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