Khaldoon al-Mubarak, the Manchester City chaiman, says the club expect to add two more signings to their squad this summer.
City have signed Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund for £51m and Julián Álvarez for £14m, the latter deal completed in January with the player loaned back to River Plate until the close season.
Both these acquisitions are forwards. Pep Guardiola is now targeting a midfielder after Fernandinho’s departure and with Ilkay Gündogan considering his future. West Ham’s Declan Rice and Leeds United’ Kalvin Phillips are admired by the manager.
Guardiola may also strengthen at full-back. Benjamin Mendy, a first-choice left-back, is indefinitely suspended, Oleksandr Zinchenko is a converted midfielder in the position, João Cancelo is a right-footed player who operates there, and Kyle Walker, the No 1 right-back, is 32. Brighton’s Marc Cucurella is among the left-backs Guardiola is monitoring.
“I can confirm that there will be more players coming in,” Mubarak told City’s website. “We’ve made two very important additions already but I anticipate we will be doing a couple more. We are looking to strengthen the team in the areas we need strengthening. Every season some players leave and we have to refresh the team. We always look at improving and strengthening.
“We will try to go as fast as we can but it depends on the market. If it was up to me, they would all be done on July 1 [when the window opens].”
Regarding Haaland Mubarak said: “From his early days in Norway and moving on to Dortmund, he has been on our radar for four or five years. It is a testament to him not being just a great player but a smart player who saw the potential of what he can do and how he can develop as part of this team and being coached under Pep Guardiola.”
City were knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals by Real Madrid despite leading 5-3 on aggregate as the second leg entered its closing moments at the Bernabéu. Mubarak revealed that Real’s president, Florentino Pérez, had congratulated him on reaching the final before the comeback.
“It was very hard for me being there with Florentino Pérez right next to me,” he said. “I think he actually congratulated me in the 82nd minute. We had this. But that’s football sometimes.”