Man City chief admits Pep will let a number of stars ‘move on’

Date published: Tuesday 7th June 2016 7:45

Pep Guardiola: Making plans for Manchester City

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak says he expects a number of departures from the club this summer as Pep Guardiola places more emphasis on emerging youth players.

Guardiola has already made his first signing ahead of the new campaign with Borussia Dortmund’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan joining in a deal worth £21m.

The incoming manager, however, is set to integrate more of the club’s existing youngsters into his team in line with City’s long-term objectives.

Al Mubarak concedes that could lead to exits over the close season, although he would not confirm how many players would be moving on.

The Emirati businessman told CityTV: “We have to keep that balance between what we have built and the future.

“We have to keep a balance between age groups, between young players and experienced players, and all this balance is really in the hands of Pep.

“Pep has a particular way he wants to manage the squad and a particular way he wants to play. I think we will need particular players who will join the team that fit and will be moulded to the way he would like this team to play.

“There will also be some players [for whom] the time is right to move on. I think we will have some changes this summer. We will invest as we have always done in this club, in this team.

“We will provide the necessary resources for Pep to build a team that has the ambition and capability to go and win back this Premier League for us, to go as far as we can and try and win the Champions League and keep pushing at the cups.”

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While giving that signal that there is set to be a considerable outlay on new players, Khaldoon also emphasised a key factor in Guardiola being recruited was his approach to youth development at his previous clubs Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

“That is one of the reasons why Pep was so highly considered by us,” Khaldoon said when asked about Guardiola bridging the gap between the academy and the first team.

“That is really that ethos that we have at Manchester City, and that I think Pep believes to the bone.

“He has done it at Barcelona and at Bayern Munich, even with abundance of talent he had in both first teams.

“Pep always has a knack for talent and he loves to find young players who have incredible talent. He finds that talent, nurtures it and you see them evolve and succeed in both the first teams he has had.

“Today, at our club, we have that – I think we have incredible talent today. This is the first time in years since we started this experience that truly, and at every level almost within the club, we have incredible talent.

“We are competitive with a lot of talent across all age levels. I think Pep will enjoy that and find a lot of gems that we are going to produce out of that.”

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