The fans from the home of the treble winners get ready to make their bookings for Man City tickets for next season, and it looks like Pep Guardiola has a few challenges as he readies for 4-back to-back Premier League titles.
These challenges arise particularly in October and March. City will face challenging fixtures in October against Arsenal, Brighton, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham.
The same group of games will be reversed in the Spring. Similarly, City will have consecutive matches against Manchester United, Liverpool, Brighton, and Arsenal in March, adding to the complexity of crucial Champions League fixtures.
While it may seem an exciting set of months as a fan who is a regular with Man City tickets, it becomes a crisis with the Champions League games for the team and its staff.
The Champions League group stage coincides with important Premier League matches, potentially impacting City’s schedule. The group stage begins in September, between a West Ham trip and a home fixture against Nottingham Forest.
The second matchday comes after a Wolves encounter and before a clash with Arsenal. Later in October, City hosts Brighton, plays the next Champions League fixture, and then faces Manchester United in the season’s first derby. Matchday four occurs in November, between a Bournemouth home game and a challenging trip to Chelsea.
Following the November international break, City welcomes Liverpool, has a crucial Champions League matchday five, and then hosts Tottenham. Loyal Blues supporters would already have this week on their calendars since it is expected to be one of the biggest weeks for the first half of the season, and they will be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking their Man City tickets.
The final group stage fixture comes between an away game against Luton and a home meeting with Crystal Palace. The teams City could face in the Champions League include Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Porto.
If City qualifies for the last-16, the first leg could occur between Premier League matches against Everton and Chelsea or between Chelsea and Bournemouth in February.
The second leg would occur amidst a challenging March fixture list, between home matches against Manchester United and Liverpool or between Liverpool away and Brighton away.
If City progresses to the quarter-finals, the first leg would be after a trip to Crystal Palace and before hosting Luton.
A week later, the second leg would be before a challenging away match against Tottenham. However, the scheduling may be affected if City or Tottenham reaches the FA Cup semi-finals, leading to potential rearrangements.
For the potential semi-finals, City would face Nottingham Forest away before the first leg, host Wolves before the second leg, and travel to Fulham. The specific dates for the legs would be April 30 or May 1 for the first leg and May 7 or 8 for the second leg.
Transfers for the Treble Winners
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are preparing for another essential summer transfer window, and the composition of their squad will largely depend on the futures of Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva. These players were part and parcel of their treble this year, attracting young fans to the Etihad with Man City tickets solely due to their playing style and spirit.
Bernardo was a target for Paris Saint-Germain last summer, and they remain interested in signing him, provided they can agree on a transfer fee with City.
City has allowed Gundogan’s contract to run down, and if the German midfielder wants to move to Barcelona on a free transfer, the club is powerless to stop him. However, in the past month, they have improved their offer to him to persuade their captain to stay.
The departures of Gundogan and Bernardo will impact City’s transfer plans for the incoming players, which are yet to be decided. They have shown interest in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, as they require a new defender. Aymeric Laporte expects to leave for more playing time after being the fifth-choice center-back this season.
Mateo Kovacic, previously identified as a potential signing in 2018, is of interest to City again, and Chelsea seems open to selling him. Additionally, reports have linked City with Celta Vigo midfielder Gabriel Veiga. Jude Bellingham was a target but has chosen to join Real Madrid.
Joao Cancelo does not have a future at City, much to the dismay of those with Man City tickets, and Rico Lewis is seen as a potential replacement for him. However, Pep needs to decide left-back Sergio Gomez, as other clubs have shown interest in him.
The future of Kalvin Phillips is also uncertain after a disappointing start to his City career.
Riyad Mahrez must decide if he is content competing for a place in the team after being left out for crucial matches.
Guardiola mentioned in April that he had “lost the battle to convince” Mahrez that he was an important part of the squad. Cole Palmer is waiting to step up and potentially fill Mahrez’s shoes, although he needed to do more this season to be completely assured of succeeding the Algerian.
The City recognizes that midfield is a crucial area for the summer and the upcoming season, with the potential departures of two of their number-eights and Kevin De Bruyne not getting any younger as he turns 32 this month and recovers from a hamstring injury suffered in the Champions League final.
The club typically prefers to conduct their business early in the transfer window, but they understand that waiting for Gundogan and Bernardo’s decisions is worthwhile.
Declan Rice – to City?
Manchester City has intensified their pursuit of a midfielder and has now set their sights on Declan Rice. Pep Guardiola is keen to strengthen his midfield, even if Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva decide to stay at the club, although their futures are still uncertain. City had initially targeted Jude Bellingham, but the young English talent opted to join Real Madrid instead.
With limited exciting options this summer, City has entered the race to sign West Ham’s influential midfielder, Rice. Arsenal had an opening bid for Rice but fell short of West Ham’s around £100 million valuation.
Moreover, the structure of Arsenal’s proposed deal reportedly irked the Hammers, potentially opening the door for City to make a concrete offer, although they still need to do so.
While much of the attention has been on Bellingham, Rice, a midfield partner of Bellingham in the England national team, is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. He recently led West Ham to their first European trophy since 1965 with a victory in the Europa Conference League final.
Josko Gvardiol to be a record?
According to reports from Fabrizio Romano and talkSPORT, Manchester City is considering a deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol this summer. The 21-year-old Croatian joined Leipzig in 2020, and the club is demanding a new record transfer fee for a center-back to let him go.
The previous record was set when Manchester United paid around £80 million for Harry Maguire from Leicester City in 2019.
Gvardiol is said to be a top transfer target for Man City manager Pep Guardiola, and talks between the player and the club have already taken place. Guardiola has made 41 appearances for Leipzig this season, scoring three goals, including a crucial equalizer in a 1-1 draw in a Champions League match earlier this year.
In addition to Gvardiol, Guardiola is reportedly interested in signing Mateo Kovacic, the Croatian and Chelsea midfielder. Kovacic, 29, has been a critical player for Chelsea since joining permanently from Real Madrid in 2019, accumulating 221 appearances in all competitions.
However, with his contract expiring in 2024 and new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino looking to rebuild the squad, Chelsea is open to selling Kovacic for around £35 million, which would delight the fans.
Man City tickets will soon be open now that the fixtures are released. Remember to check out options for the best value for money ticket options can be found in reseller platforms.