Suffering a shock 2-1 defeat away at RB Leipzig earlier in the week, Manchester City will be desperate to prove that was just a minor blip when they turn their attention back to Premier League duties on Saturday afternoon.
Finding a route back to the top of the table, it is no secret that Pep Guardiola’s men have their sights set on reclaiming their domestic crown this season.
In what appears to be a real battle against both Liverpool and Chelsea, the former Bayern Munich boss could be in for a hectic time over the coming weeks.
With the January transfer window now just around the corner, we have taken a look at a handful of stars who could be both heading in and out of the Etihad.
While Manchester City might have gained plenty of plaudits recently for their performances in the final third, many were surprised over the summer to see Guardiola pass on the chance to sign a legitimate striker.
Instead deciding to break the British transfer record and spend £100million on Jack Grealish, it was still no secret earlier in the year that City were desperate to strike a deal for Tottenham ace, Harry Kane.
However, with the January transfer window fast approaching, reports from Italy over the past few days have suggested that the former Bayern Munich boss has his sights set on another of Europe’s striking superstars.
Enjoying what has been a remarkable season with Fiorentina, Serbian international Dusan Vlahovic has quickly become one of the most in-demand number nines from across the continent.
Already netting 13 Serie A goals in his 16 appearances so far this season, the 21-year-old almost appears destined to be leaving the Artemio Franchi after refusing to sign a new deal.
With La Repubblica’s report stating that Guardiola is “in love” with the Serbian striker, it is believed that a fee in the region of £55million could be enough to seal a deal.
With the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham also interested in snapping up Vlahovic’s signature in January, it appears that the Fiorentina man is not the only number nine on Guardiola’s wishlist.
While Darwin Nunez might not be able to single-handily push Benfica to the top of the Primeira Liga table, the 22-year-old has only continued to gain a host of plaudits on what has been a breakout campaign.
Reportedly a long-term admirer of the Brazilian starlet, reports from across Europe have suggested that Guardiola could see Nunez as the heir to Sergio Aguero who left the club over the summer.
Already racking up eight domestic goals so far this season, Portuguese news outlet Record, via Sport Witness, suggest that Nunez’s agent has been holding meetings with clubs in Madrid and Milan, namely AC and Inter.
However, with Benfica installing a €150m release clause in Nunez’s current deal, City will be hoping to strike a similar offer that saw them sign Ruben Dias from them last year.
While Ferran Torres might have gained plenty of fans from around the blue half of Manchester since arriving from Valencia for £20.87million last year, it appears that the 21-year-old could already be on his way out of the Etihad exit.
Suffering an injury while away on international duties with Spain, he has yet to make a single appearance since the middle of October and is not expected to be back until the New Year.
Often utilized as a false nine by Guardiola, reports over the past fortnight have suggested that Barcelona are desperate on completing a deal for Torres when the January window reopens in under a month’s time.
Although Guardiola might have been frequent in his praise for the ex-Valencia starlet, The Athletic reported last month that Torres himself is keen on securing a return to Spain over the coming weeks.
In fact, Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany and chief executive Ferran Reverter were at City’s training ground a fortnight ago, reportedly for business meetings.
With Aymeric Laporte forcing his way back into Guardiola’s starting XI, there is no doubt that City’s Spanish boss has quite the dilemma on his hands regarding his first-choice partnership at the back.
Watching on as the likes of Dias, Laporte and John Stones all battle it out for two positions, it is no surprise that many are questioning what the future holds for Nathan Ake in Manchester.
Making just a single Premier League start since the middle of October, City could be looking to cash in on a defender that they paid £41million to Bournemouth for last year.
However, while Ake might not be a regular in Guardiola’s first-team plans, it appears that the Dutch international won’t be short of options if he is to leave the Etihad in January.
With West Ham dealing with a real defensive crisis after watching both Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna suffer long-term injuries, 90min reported last weekend that the Hammers are keen on striking a deal for Ake.