Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak says his club intend to send a message in this summer’s transfer window and has vowed to find the right replacement for Sergio Agüero this summer.
City look set to spend big on reshaping Pep Guardiola’s squad and have a large hole to fill following record goalscorer Agüero’s move to Barcelona. Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been heavily linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium, and even named Kevin De Bruyne as his ideal team-mate, while Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland has also been touted as a possible target.
Following City’s third Premier League title in four years and a maiden run to the Champions League final – where they lost to Chelsea – Al Mubarak believes it is important to improve their squad.
“You need to constantly bring talent into the team, refresh and particularly when you are at a high level on the top,” he said, speaking in an interview with the club’s website. “Having won the league it is not the team to sit back and be content, that is the biggest mistake. This is the time to send a strong message that there is no contentment, you are not satisfied with just winning the league.
“We lose a very important legend in Sergio Agüero, very hard shoes to fill but I am confident we will find the right player to fill those shoes. There are other areas in the team that need investment, not too many, it is not about numbers, it is about quality.
“The squad is a phenomenal squad, you don’t win the Premier League and get to the Champions League final if you don’t have a good squad. We will bring quality into the squad in a couple of key positions.”
Al Mubarak has also said that the journey with Guardiola will continue, despite their Champions League disappointment. While City have dominated domestically under the Spaniard, they have still not managed to crack the European nut, with the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea still leaving them without continental silverware.
But Al Mubarak insists City are happy with Guardiola. “This partnership has been a great partnership,” he said. “He is in the right environment, he has the right infrastructure around him. We have the greatest trust and the greatest relationship and we have achieved so much. The journey goes on and it will go on as long as Pep is happy and we’re happy.”
On the disappointment in Porto, he added: “I feel very proud of what this team has accomplished. When you reach a Champions League final – the pinnacle in football, the pinnacle of sports – I think it is an incredible achievement, a remarkable season by any description.
“But it is also a culmination of years of hard work to reach a level of consistency, a level of expectation that this club has reached now – which is a club that will compete year in, year out.
“You can’t win every year but year in, year out we are going to be there. It is about going forward and whenever we have setbacks regrouping and coming back stronger. As sad as we all are at losing the Champions League final, we will be back in that final and more importantly (with) these titles we will always be there, that I promise.”