When superstar coach Pep Guardiola took over the reins at this season, fans and pundits greeted him with great optimism. After all, they had signed a coach who had highly successful stints with clubs of the stature of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Guardiola was widely expected to at least win the for City, let alone go the distance in the . After finishing 3rd last season, they would surely need to bolster their squad.

Here are 5 players Manchester City could sign in the summer:

5Virgil

The Dutch centre-half has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and has been on the radar of a number of clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester United. Manchester City have had major problems with their defence with Vincent Kompany struggling with injuries and John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi being hardly convincing. Van Dijk is the type of player Pep Guardiola craves for, good in the air, good with his feet and strong. While he would not come cheap, City would have no problems in splashing the cash should he decide to join them. A centre-back partnership of Stones and Van Dijk could be their first choice for years to come.

4

The former Malaga man has been linked with a move to the Etihad outfit having grown frustrated with the lack of first-team opportunities under Zinedine Zidane. David Silva has been a fine servant for Manchester City but will not get any younger, and Isco could be the perfect replacement for him. He could add the much-needed creativity to the City midfield and could develop playing under Guardiola. While he has also been linked with Juventus and Chelsea, he looks most likely to join City and could prove to be a gamechanger for Guardiola.

3 Stephen Lichsteiner

The Juventus defender is not the youngest of options available in the market, he could be a good signing as he is still very competitive. The arrival of Dani Alves has put his spot at Juve in doubt and he could look to join City to experience the Premier League. While Guardiola might look at younger options, Lichsteiner could be a good part-time option and would be better than Sagna and Zabaleta have been this season.

2 Leonardo

Another Guardiola-type center-half. Bonucci wasn’t so popular among Juventus fans during his initial years at the club. However, Antonio Conte arrived and saw the huge potential that he had and turned him into perhaps the best ball-playing centre-back in .

1 Alexis

The Arsenal striker’s situation is an intriguing one and one that is likely to drag on throughout the transfer window. Sanchez has just a year left on his contract and has given little indication he’s willing to sign a new one, with Arsenal also believed to be unwilling to sell. Both United and City have been credited with an interest, although City would likely have the upper hand in securing a move due to Sanchez’s relationship with Guardiola from their Barcelona days.