Kevin De Bruyne clarity, midfield solution, £100m windfall - City's three biggest transfer jobs

Manchester City's summer transfer activity has yet to get going as the Blues bide their time in the market.

Pep Guardiola's men clinched a fourth successive Premier League title in May but fell short in Europe after being knocked out by Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Blues will once again seek to challenge on both fronts this season.

City have an XI and a squad the envy of most clubs around the world but there remains work to do for Guardiola and Co ahead of a campaign which brings an expanded Champions League and an end of season Club World Cup in the States. With that in mind, here are the three biggest transfer issues facing City over the next few weeks.

ALSO READ: City could have eight 'new signings' under their nose that can save them millions

ALSO READ: Man City's dream subs after £140m transfer splurge, Jack Grealish call and Bruno Guimaraes decision

De Bruyne decision

Joe Bray

The stance on De Bruyne will be the same as the one for any senior player - if they want to leave and present a suitable offer, then City won't stand in their way. However, De Bruyne showed at the end of the season that even when he isn't fully firing he is still capable of scoring brilliant goals and winning games on his own. City shouldn't give that up too easily.

The easiest way to show they want him to stay would be a new contract, but with a year left and De Bruyne turning 33 on Friday, patience is probably the best way forward. After some medium-to-long-term injuries in recent years, even De Bruyne isn't exempt from City's pragmatic approach to contracts for their older players.

And if he decides to leave, then City would need to be looking for a successor now anyway for the coming seasons. As much as it would be a shame to see him go, it wouldn't be the devastating loss it could have been when the Belgian was younger.

Simon Bajkowski

De Bruyne's situation may be accelerated by the Saudi clubs interested in signing him, although if he stays at the club that deadline will reset. Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Pep Guardiola and others have all gone into the final year of their deals at City before and renewed, so entering the final 12 months with De Bruyne won't signal a decision either way.

What City will have to work out is how central De Bruyne can be to their plans, for next season and beyond. He struggled with injuries last year, and when he returned while his goal and assist contributions were extraordinary it didn't always feel a natural fit with both him and Phil Foden trying to lead the team in the middle.

Rodri replacement

JB: It's not so much that City need a replacement for Rodri, but more an appropriate back-up option. The Kalvin Phillips experiment failed spectacularly, and even when Fernandinho was winding down he was often used at centre-back. Maybe the way forward is the Ilkay Gundogan solution - a player who can play at both number eight and number six.

Mateo Kovacic got better as the season went on, so could he be moulded into a more defensive midfielder during pre-season in order to support Rodri and give himself more game-time? Aside from that, City could promote Mahamadou Susoho or Jacob Wright for late cameos to ease the burden on Rodri, or alternatively try and sign a cheaper midfielder who would be content with playing back-up.

The final option is Rico Lewis. He'd prefer to play number eight and Rodri's role is completely different to his current inverted full-back role even if he occupies similar spaces, but he is certainly versatile enough to play in a double pivot with someone else.

SB: City really need to buy somebody. They didn't really listen to Rodri last summer when he said he needed rest, and they were badly exposed when he missed games through suspension last season.

The best solution to Rodri could be John Stones, although Stones wasn't available enough last season to be deemed a reliable option for such a crucial spot. There are a number of players already in the squad and the academy who can fill in, but for peace of mind for both supporters and Rodri himself a fresh face would go a long way to bolstering that role.

Moving players on

JB: Joao Cancelo and Kalvin Phillips are the main two names who stand out. Both seem unwanted at City, but finding a buyer for permanent exits may be more difficult. Barcelona surely can't afford Cancelo, while reported interest in Phillips hasn't materialised into anything concrete just yet.

Loans may have to suffice for both in a quiet market, while Sergio Gomez is another player who looks likely to leave. His Olympics call-up during pre-season moves him further away from an unlikely turnaround in his City fortunes.

As well as De Bruyne, there has been talk over Bernardo Silva and Ederson leaving, but both are under contract and any noise has softened since the end of the season. Further exits are likely to come from the academy or loan players. Liam Delap, James McAtee and Callum Doyle are the standout names in that category.

SB: One of City's strengths in the Guardiola era has been moving players on, even when it has been difficult. Club legends Sergio Aguero and David Silva have left while significant money has been made on Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

At the minute, it seems as though there won't be any first-team departures unless De Bruyne, Silva or Ederson agitate to leave. That can hardly be questioned given City won the league again last season, but the pressure will be back on the squad to deliver.