Lionel Messi, Harry Winks, John Stones: 6 players Manchester City should sign, 4 they should cut loose in the transfer window

Lionel Messi, Harry Winks, John Stones: 6 players Manchester City should sign, 4 they should cut loose in the transfer window
Lionel Messi, Harry Winks, John Stones: 6 players Manchester City should sign, 4 they should cut loose in the transfer window

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - IN: Barcelona are pushing out the message on a daily basis that Lionel Messi is committed to the club despite their humiliating Champions League exit. Friction is never far away between the two parties when things are bad at Barca, and following a season of disappointment, relations at Camp Nou are said to be at an all time low. Reports in Britain say Manchester City are primed to pounce should Messi, 33, scorer of more than 700 career goals, make clear his intentions to leave. EPA

OUT: City have not ruled out handing their own record scorer, Sergio Aguero, a new contract to keep the Argentine striker at the Etihad until 2022, and at 32 he is a year younger than fellow Argentine Messi. But the City hierarchy acknowledge that replacing Aguero - scorer of more than 250 goals for the club - is something that has to be addressed sooner rather than later. After three years as understudy to Aguero, Gabriel Jesus has also proved he is capable of filling the former Atletico Madrid striker's considerable goal-filled boots. Reuters

IN: Pep Guardiola saw enough in Juan Bernat to sign him once already at Bayern Munich, in 2014, and the Spanish left-back is a 'Mr Dependable' in a PSG team filled with self-serving superstars. A solid performer, the defender has become a reliable source of goals in the Champions League too. EPA

OUT: Benjamin Mendy is a one-man tank patrolling the left side of City's defence and attack. The problem is the Frenchman's vulnerability to long-term injuries. In three seasons at the Etihad, the £52 million signing had made only 53 appearances, having missed huge chunks after undergoing knee operations. A plethora of centre midfielders with a serviceable left foot have been used to cover for Mendy's lengthy absences, with varying degrees of success. Guardiola may decide he needs players whose fitness he can count on as City attempt to wrest back the Premier League title from Liverpool. Getty

IN: City are eyeing several defensive reinforcements, with Sevilla's Diego Carlos said to be top of the list. The Brazilian is a man in demand after helping the Spanish club win the Europa League, with Liverpool also chasing the £50 million-rated centre-back. Reuters

OUT: With Vincent Kompany departing and Aymeric Laporte injured, City looked to Nicolas Otamendi to stand up and be counted last season. The Argentine played 24 times in the league in a campaign where City lost nine times to surrender the title to Liverpool. With Nathan Ake signed from Bournemouth, City are prepared to listen to offers for Otamendi. Getty Images

IN: Kalidou Koulibaly is on the radar of a host of Europe's top clubs with Napoli preparing for a bidding war for the Senegalese's signature. The Italian club's valuation of €80 million for the centre-back will not put City off if Guardiola feels Koulibaly is the right man. EPA

OUT: Like fellow centre-back Otamendi, John Stones has struggled to convince he is the natural successor to Vincent Kompany. The nagging sense is that the England international struggles to fill Guardiola's vision of a centre-back comfortable on the ball generating attacks from the back. At 26, City would hope to use any funds from Stones' sale to invest in the likes of Carlos and Koulibaly. AFP

IN: Lautaro Martinez is in demand after his 21 goals helped Inter Milan to a runners-up finish in Serie A and the Europa League. The 23-year-old is being courted by the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, according to several reports in Italy, meaning City may have to move quickly if they are serious about adding the Argentine to their attacking ranks. EPA

IN: Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has emerged as a top target for City, according to reports. There is more than a touch of Guardiola the player in the England international, whose passing and reading of the game could help compensate for the ageing legs of Fernandinho. According to The Sun, City are lining up a £40m bid for the 24-year-old. Reuters

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