Pep Guardiola tried to sign four Barcelona players for Manchester City

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Manchester City were always expected to make their presence felt in the transfer market following the appointment of Pep Guardiola during the summer.

His arrival marked the beginning of yet another squad overhaul at the Etihad, with the acquisitions of John Stones, Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Claudio Bravo headlining their activity during the off-season.

While City spent upwards of £180 million in total over the course of the summer, it would come as a surprise if they opted not to invest even more cash into their squad this January.


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Big transfers have been part and parcel of the financial powerhouse the club has become since Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan purchased the club in 2008.

But it would seem their ambitions reached a whole new level last summer if their list of transfer targets is anything to go by.

Mundo Deportivo reports Pep Guardiola had plans to raid his former club Barcelona in a move that would have kicked the City revolution into overdrive.

It is believed the affluent Etihad outfit were prepared to table massive bids for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Sergio Busquets.

City were willing to fork out £90 million to land the Uruguayan striker only for him to reject their advances in favour of waiting for Barcelona to offer him a new and improved contract.

Likewise, Messi turned down the chance to join Guardiola in the Premier League despite going through a trial for tax evasion at the time.

Former Barcelona vice president Ferran Soriano – now at the Etihad – then began paving the way for City to snap up Neymar by talking to his father.

However, a move never materialised, not just with the Premier League giants, but also Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, who had shown serious interest.

Following the Brazilian’s decision to extend his contract with the Catalan giants, Guardiola instead focused his attention on Sergio Busquets – a player he considers to be one of the best players in the world in his defensive midfield position.

It goes without saying, the Spain international issued the same response as his three club colleagues and chose to remain at the Nou Camp.

While the completion of any one of these deals would have sent shockwaves throughout the Premier League, it is hardly a shock none of them came to fruition.

Rejection on this occasion is highly unlikely to mean Guardiola and City will take their foot off the gas in the transfer market, and could even return for players of this calibre as soon as January rolls around.

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Luis Suarez
Premier League
Manchester City
Lionel Messi

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