With the recent opening of the summer transfer window for English clubs, the Wessex Scene provides for you a mini series of who we think will be coming and going for all the Premier League teams from A-Z. This is the third installment of the series covering Manchester City – Norwich, with writer Sam Arnold giving his thoughts on who will be in and out the door this summer.
It’s looking like yet another summer of big spending at the Etihad, with manager Manuel Pellegrini chasing several big name stars. City are reported to be in talks for Juventus and France star – and former Manchester United player – Paul Pogba, who would reportedly be available for £71 million. Pogba was a key part of the Juventus side that finished as runners up in the Champions League, and could certainly help City progress further in Europe if he were to sign. Although it would be an expensive transfer, Pogba could make a huge impact, both in the short term, dovetailing with Yaya Toure, before eventually replacing the 32-year-old in the spine of the City team.
City haven’t been shy to spend huge fees in recent years, and another probable signing is Raheem Sterling. Liverpool have already rejected 2 bids, the latest valued at £40 million, and they are holding out for £50 million. Sterling would certainly take some of the creative burden off the silky Spaniard David Silva, while also adding pace to the ageing City team. Both Sterling and Pogba also qualify as homegrown players, something that City desperately need to meet Premier League quotas, following the departures of James Milner and Frank Lampard, among others.
Perhaps a more surprising transfer target is England international Fabian Delph, with City reportedly ready to meet the £10 million release clause in the contract that the Villa midfielder only signed in January. Delph would provide an influx of energy to the City midfield which often looked sluggish last season.
Like City, Man United look set to splash the cash this summer. They have already spent £25 million on Dutch winger Memphis Depay, who has impressed for PSV as well as the national side. They are also close to wrapping up a similarly priced deal for Saints midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who will help take a large amount of defensive responsibility off Michael Carrick’s shoulders.
The main transfer story surrounding United appears to be the future of David De Gea, who has been trying to force through a move to Real Madrid. However if De Gea does leave, there’s no need for United to buy a new goalkeeper – they have a ready-made replacement in his compatriot Victor Valdes who has a wealth of experience at international and European level.
Van Gaal’s priority this summer should be in defence. They are in pursuit of Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos, who would cost around £65 million. Ramos fits the bill though, as the United back line desperately needs a leader in order to cut out the mistakes made by Phil Jones and company. If they can’t get Ramos, other options would be Nicolas Otamendi or even former Villa captain Ron Vlaar, who is available on a free transfer. United could also do with an established right back, after Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia spent most of the season in what is an unfamiliar role for him. Seamus Coleman would be a good fit for United, both in a defensive and attacking sense. Coleman has scored 12 goals for Everton in the last 2 seasons, showing his effectiveness at opposite ends of the pitch.
After a tumultuous season at St James’ Park, new boss Steve McClaren has been tasked with improving performances on Tyneside. One target is Stewart Downing, a player that McClaren knows well following their time together at Middlesbrough. Downing could play across the width of the pitch to help create chances, which were in short supply for the Newcastle strikers last season.
The Magpies are competing with Saints, West Ham and Chelsea for QPR striker Charlie Austin, who would cost £15 million. Austin could either be a strike partner to top scorer Papiss Cisse or provide some talented competition to bring out the best of both forwards.
Finally, Newcastle really need to sort their defence out. They were leaking goals last season, regularly lacking any kind of defensive stability. One or two quality additions at centre-back would certainly not go amiss, with Joel Matip of Schalke one possible signing.
McClaren certainly faces a big challenge to overhaul a side that lacked inspiration last season, but he’ll be hoping that with the right changes he can restore some Geordie pride.
Play-off winners Norwich bounced straight back up following their relegation in 2013-14, so still have a large proportion of players with Premiership experience. Alex Neill will nonetheless be looking to boost their chances of staying up this time around with a few new players. They’ve been quick to add Congolese powerhouse Youssef Mulumbu to the line up on a free, and are also reportedly close to a deal for Hull winger Robbie Brady. Both performed consistently well for their sides last year and would provide further Premier League pedigree.
City’s main target this summer is Blackburn striker Rudy Gestede, who has scored 34 goals in 65 games for Rovers, and would be available for a relatively affordable £7 million. Norwich fans will be hoping Gestede will score the goals they’ll need to stave off relegation for seasons to come.