Manchester City’s squad is expected to undergo an overhaul this coming offseason if Pep Guardiola succeeds Manual Pellegrini as manager.
There has already been talk around who the Spaniard would bring to the Premier League with him and that will of course lead to exits from the Etihad Stadium.
The core of the City team has been in place for a number of years but Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero are regularly injured, while Yaya Toure, David Silva, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, Fernandinho, and Bacary Sagna are all the wrong side of 30, so we could see something of a fresh start for the two-time champions.
There is still plenty to work with though, including stalwart between the posts Joe Hart, recent signing Nicolas Otamendi, and exciting attackers Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, and Kelechi Iheanacho.
With all of that in mind, here’s five players who may find themselves surplus to requirements come June.
It could be deemed a big call to have him on this list given his influence over the past few years, but we could very well be seeing the last few months of Yaya Toure in a Manchester City shirt.
The Ivorian powerhouse will turn 33 in May and his relationship with club officials has been far from smooth at times; who can forget the rather embarrassing birthday cake fiasco?
Toure’s current deal was signed in April 2013 and runs until the end of the 2016/17 campaign, but City could be tempted to get such a high wage earner (£220,000-a-week) off their books a season early.
When Toure played under Pep Guardiola in Spain, he was utilised as a more defensive midfielder and even played a number of games at centre half; it wasn’t until Roberto Mancini released the shackles that Toure really became seen as an attacking force.
Toure’s role in City’s recent success in the Premier League and domestic cup competitions cannot be understated, and you would need more than two hands to list his big moments in a blue shirt, but all good things come to an end at some point.
There was a collective scratching of heads when City handed over an initial £25 million for Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony last January, even with his more than reasonable Premier League scoring over the preceding 12 months.
At the time, Edin Dzeko was the club’s big man up front but it was felt that another option was needed as Pellegrini’s side looked to chase down Chelsea in the title race.
Ultimately they failed, with Bony scoring just twice in ten league games as his first touch and general ability in front of goal was seriously questioned by City supporters.
Dzeko, who is still only 29, was allowed to depart for AS Roma last summer, while Bony has only netted four times in 15 games so far this campaign. Good business? Definitely not.
It now appears that exciting youngster Kelechi Iheanacho, who has impressed massively in limited game as a substitute, has jumped ahead in the pecking order and is the better option moving forward.
FC Porto must have been laughing all the way to the bank when they picked up £32 million for Eliaquim Mangala back in August 2014.
To be fair to Mangala, things started off quite well as he had Diego Costa in his pocket on debut as City and Chelsea drew 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
It all went downhill quickly though – a week later he scored an own goal and gave away a penalty against Hull, though City still managed to win 4-2.
That snapshot has become the status quo for Mangala at City – solid one week, an absolute liability the next, and he did his best Djimi “he just can’t control his feet” Traore impression with another own goal against Liverpool in November.
Still only 24, Mangala is by no means a lost cause but with City in desperate need of a stable centre back pairing, he becomes less of a viable option with every mistake.
Talk of a bid for Everton’s John Stones is doing the rounds this week, and it would be no surprise to see City cut their losses on the French international.
It’s hard to dislike Jesus Navas, a quietly spoken man who joined City in 2013 having overcame terrible anxiety, brought on by homesickness, that had prevented him from representing Spain.
The problem with Navas is that despite possessing the blistering pace to leave defenders for dead, he is very one footed, delays his crosses, and has no composure in front of goal.
His recent goal against Everton in the League Cup semi final first leg was his first for 15 months, and he is now something of a bit part player since the arrival of De Bruyne and Sterling.
At 30, Navas is only going to lose his speed over the next few years and he would be eligible to leave for nothing at the end of the next campaign.
Something of a forgotten man this season due to injury, Samir Nasri has been a massive opinion divider during his time at City.
Regularly criticised for his work ethic, or lack of, Nasri stepped up to the plate massively in the second half of the 2013/14 season and was one of the most important players in the run to the tiltle.
Those performances led to a contract extension and he is tied to the club until 2019 so that alone may save him from being part of the first cull under the next manager.
Now 28, Nasri still has time on his side and has stated that he wants to remain in Manchester, but he may find playing time more limited than he would perhaps like.