Pep Guardiola certainly knows how to make an entrance.
Having succeeded Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City manager, the Spaniard has already begun plans to revamp his squad by signing Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund.
In doing so, Guardiola has plugged a considerable gap at the Etihad.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
At present, City’s midfield features Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Fernando and Fabian Delph, none of which a typical box-to-box workhorse.
That’s where Gundogan comes in. The Germany international is renowned for his work rate and all-action approach in the middle of the park.
And now, it seems Guardiola is lining up another big-name summer signing as he seeks to mould City’s squad to his liking: Aymeric Laporte.
This is according to the Guardian, who claim the Citizens will match Athletic Bilbao's £39 million valuation for the highly-rated Frenchman.
Following a season where City’s back four underwhelmed, Laporte is exactly the player needed to shore up the defence.
Vincent Kompany spent the majority of last term on the sidelines; Nicolas Otamendi is a loose cannon; Eliaquim Mangala has failed to justify his £32 million transfer; and Martin Demichelis - well, he’s just awful.
The ball now appears to be in Laporte’s court. The 22-year-old can either join Guardiola’s revolution and prove his worth in football’s toughest league, or pen a contract extension in La Liga.
However, reports per the Mirror suggest Guardiola has no intentions of stopping there and instead wants no less than eight new starters this summer.
This is what he’s told City chiefs, who have given the Spanish manager their full backing.
Aside from Gundogan and Laporte, it’s believed that Guardiola is also tracking Schalke’s Leroy Sane, as well as John Stones, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Rose.
He faces competition for each and every one of his targets, though, with Stones a particular subject of big interest in the Premier League.
Manchester United are also said to be monitoring the 22-year-old, whilst Chelsea are known admirers having failed to sign him last summer.