There was a big, wordy, lengthy piece in the Athletic this week by Sam Lee, who is the Manchester City correspondent for the site – their James Pearce, or Simon Hughes.
He’s a good writer and posts legitimate information that should be trusted.
Which is why I was pretty blown away by the claim that City, who were one game away from one of the best seasons in English football history, are about to force a summer exodus.
That’s right – the side with arguably the best squad and bench – ever – are going to sell a load of players and bring in a load more – for an unfathomably large sum.
Lee lists Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte (hey, City fans, I thought this lad was as good as van Dijk?!), Benjamin Mendy and wait for it: BERNARDO SILVA, as set for the chop.
City are happy to sell some of, if not all, of those listed stars. Wow.
Mendy is useless, but the other five are proven internationals with Premier League title winning pedigree. Mahrez is brilliant. So is Laporte.
Apparently, there is discontent in the squad about playing time and Pep Guardiola wants to shake things up before it goes stale.
Liverpool, on the other hand, want to invest in the players who flew us to the moon, and will offer Alisson, Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah new deals this summer.
It’s a polar opposite approach – but as a Red, I’m happier with Jurgen Klopp’s plan than Pep’s. If we decided to cash in on a handful of our star players so we could afford Jack Grealish and an admittedly brilliant Harry Kane – I don’t think we’d win the title.
As our squad stands, providing we aren’t so miserably unlucky with injuries and VAR next season, we have a fighting chance – especially if City are battling with an essentially new side. A new side to the one that just waltzed the Premier League and would be favourites to again if they did NOTHING in the market this summer.
Time will well, and obviously there’s an argument for freshening things up ahead of the curve – but a City squad that suddenly cannot call upon the offensive talents of Sergio Aguero, Jesus, Sterling, Mahrez and Silva – even with Kane and Grealish in their place – scares me a little less.
I hope it happens. I hope they sell, sell, sell and have to fight Klopp’s Reds with a new side.
Liverpool’s selling will be of non-first-teamers, like Divock Origi, Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson. Hopefully we’ll make enough money to supplement our attack with a top-grade rotation option – a Raphinha, or a wing-forward of that ilk – and an out and out centre-forward, too.
Crucially, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will stay.
We’ve got Ibrahima Konate through the door and will target a younger, more explosive Gini Wijnaldum replacement, too.
It’s baffling that City, whose squad is sensational and performing at an elite level, even when some players are unhappy about being benched, want to switch it all up – but for me, it’s good news for Liverpool.
Maybe we can take Sterling or Jesus off their hands, too?!