Huge Pep Guardiola future claim as first Man City summer transfer complete

Pep Guardiola after losing the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.
-Credit: (Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The 2023/24 season is over for Manchester City, and while it may have ended with disappointment in the FA Cup final, there was still plenty to celebrate.

And that is what the club did on Sunday evening, parading the Premier League trophy through the streets of Manchester after lifting it for a record fourth year in a row a week before. The players and the staff will now have some time to reflect on the season that’s just gone.

But work will be going on behind the scenes, especially regarding transfers. The summer window means that players will be linked and talk over who may come and go have already started.

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With that in mind, here is a look at the latest news from around the Etihad Stadium. We have also added our own perspective.

Pep Guardiola future

Pep Guardiola is expected to leave Manchester City at the end of his current contract after next season, according to the Daily Mail. The report says that the manager will be given time to make the decision, with the club wanting him to extend his contract.

But it adds that the feeling around the club’s hierarchy is that he will leave at the end of the 2023/25 campaign. City may already have potential successors in mind with Girona’s Michel and Xabi Alonso, two names mentioned.

Since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, Guardiola has led City to 14 domestic trophies and one Champions League. Including six Premier League titles.

MENSport says: Guardiola has left his future open with his answer to direct questions over the subject over the last few days and weeks. If he was to leave at the end of next season then it would come as a massive blow to the club.

If they want their dominance to continue then they would have to make sure that any potential replacement is right and that the transition is as smooth as possible. Doing groundwork now may not be a bad idea in preparation for when that day - whenever that may be, does come.

£20m transfer complete

Southampton’s promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs has a direct impact on City this summer due to a clause in Taylor Harwood-Bellis’ loan deal.

Adam Armstrong’s goal in the first half of the crunch match at Wembley Stadium gave Southampton a 1-0 win over Leeds United on Sunday afternoon. Harwood-Bellis has been a key player in the centre of the Saints’ defence this season, and promotion triggers a £20 million mandatory purchase clause.

After the game he said: "I can't tell you the feeling that I have got a contract here and I am a Southampton player, I am over the moon," Harwood-Bellis said after the game.

"It had a massive edge to it knowing I am staying here permanently, I love the club, it's a special football club and the fans have been amazing."

MENSport says: The 22-year-old has been away from City more than he has been with the club over the last few years. Since January 2021, the defender has been out on five separate loan deals starting with Blackburn Rovers and ending with Southampton.

Therefore, it may be best for the player to get a new permanent home, with City receiving a £20m fee. He has impressed in the Championship over the last two seasons with Burnley and now with Southampton, but is yet to prove himself in the Premier League, it will be interesting to see how he gets on next season.