You can bet that Manchester City will be going all out in this summer transfer window as they seek to win a third consecutive Premier League title.
Pep Guardiola guided the Sky Blues to their fourth title in eight years last term, but not without a serious challenge from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.
City were crowned champions by a single point on the final day of the campaign, and there’s every suggestion the Reds will muster an equally stern challenge next season.
However, while Klopp needn’t make any major changes to his flourishing young squad, Guardiola faces the tricky task of breathing new life into an ageing cohort.
City reportedly have no intention of chasing big-money signings this summer, despite persistent links with the likes of Harry Maguire and Matthijs de Ligt.
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In fact, Guardiola is understood to want only two new players on the books for the 2019-20 season.
In the eyes of former City boss Stuart Pearce, replacing Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho should be the Spaniard’s top priority.
“I think all teams need to strengthen no matter who they are,” he told Sky Sports, per Goal.
“Just to get a fresh face in the dressing room, Man City with Kompany leaving that leaves an issue at the centre of defence, I think as well the holding midfield role as well as if they lose Fernandinho for any period of time, which they did last season, would cause them problems.
“And I always think upfront, you can always strengthen with a striker.”
To that end, it would appear City are on the cusp of having half the job done already.
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the Citizens are set to sign Rodrigo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid after agreeing to pay his €70 million (£65 million) release clause.
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has corroborated the report, tweeting: "Manchester City have just confirmed to Atletico Madrid they’re going to pay the release clause for Rodri. Final price: €70M. The player is discussing his contract now."
The 22-year-old - who is understood to have verbally agreed to join City before the end of last season - was Guardiola’s top central midfield target ahead of Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele and Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente.
Rodrigo has also attracted interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich, such is his reputation as a commanding yet elegant holding midfielder.
A star performer for Diego Simeone last season, the Villarreal youth product was thought likely to succeed Antoine Griezmann as Atletico’s main man from next season onwards.
But with a price tag of just £65 million, it’s no wonder Guardiola wants him snapped up.News Now - Sport News