The Catalan band Mishima was playing. The singer is David Caraben, who is not just a good friend of Guardiola but the grandson of Armand Carrapin – the Barcelona CEO who managed to convince a Dutch footballer named Johan Cruyff to sign for the club 49 years ago.
Caraben took a break in the middle of the band’s set to start a conversation with the thousands of people standing in front of him:
“Guys, we are all the same. But we have someone here who has won four of our last five Premier League games, so let’s give him a warm welcome.”
Everyone turned their heads back to discover Guardiola in a reserved area. Soon the crowd started clapping and chanting his name. The former Barcelona player and coach later raised his arms in what seemed like some kind of celebration, to thank the appreciation he had received.
Guardiola was enjoying himself and could afford it.
Soon after that moment, Txiki Begiristain was on a plane back to the UK. It might be party time. But this is the time for action for him, too.
The City’s director of football only spent one week in Catalonia with his family before returning to East Manchester. Guardiola and Begerstein laid out City’s plan in this transfer window.
In the arrivals section there are two cases. There is Leeds United midfielder Calvin Phillips, as has been widely discussed. then there Mark Cucurella.
BrightonThe Spanish full-back is the first signing on City’s wish list, as does Guardiola with a weapon he barely has in the league: the natural left-back.
As things stand, Phillips and Cocorella are the only expected entrants to the tournament this summer.
the athlete He understands that City will start official contacts with Brighton within days to discuss the signing of Cucurella. Brighton knows what will happen.
They’ll want a big paycheck, and expect a final amount close to what they got for Ben White last summer when Arsenal Invested 50 million pounds to recruit England’s centre-back.
City will not be able to reach those figures for Cucurella, and if Brighton do not soften their position and have already demanded a deal worth more than £50m, they will pull out.
Sources involved in the said transfer believe there is room for negotiation. They are confident that an agreement can be reached.
Chelsea You’re also expected to be in the mix for Cucurella. Marcos Alonso Looking at the way out of Stamford Bridge, he pushes for his way back to his native Spain. but, the athlete He understands that the 23-year-old defender is determined to join City after an impressive first season with Brighton.
From the player’s camp, there is a strong belief that signing for the England Champions will take his playing to the next level. Being managed by Guardiola is a huge incentive, as Cucurella came from Barcelona’s youth ranks before moving to Eibar and then Getafe. Personal terminology is not expected to be an issue.
Guardiola and Begiristain both want Cucurella. He is not only admired as an offensive threat – he created more opportunities for open play than any other full-back in the Premier League last season – but especially for his defensive stats.
He ranked ninth in the field players’ list for most ball recalls (247) in the Premier League, and second among defenders in tackles (93). His ability to press high on the field and win duels is evaluated as well.
The city’s youth could be used as an advantage in bargains this summer.
It is also believed that Leeds are very keen on a 19-year-old midfielder James MakatiEither permanently or on loan. City plan to keep him close to their first-team unit for next season and are not believed to be open to any departure, but their resolve may be tested should Phillips’ pursuit continue. Brighton were interested in signing McAtee last summer, but it’s not currently believed to be an option.
There are plenty of other young players in the ranks of the federation that could fit into the equation.
There is another thing. Before any other new signings, City needs to sell. Three players are widely on the list of departures, and the club will not stand in their way.
Oleksandr Zinchenko He is one of them. The Ukrainian player has received a lot of attention from the English Premier League in the past. Everton Understandably, she’s more careful now. If the 25-year-old leaves, there will be a free place for Cucurella at left-back.
Arsenal is still the most likely to attract the Brazilian outside the Etihad Stadium. City have set a price tag of £50m for the 25-year-old. Chelsea could be a potential suitor for Sterling, as England The striker is entering the final year of his contract but there has been no contact between the two clubs yet.
Riyad Mahrez He is another striker whose contract expires next summer. However, the Algerian is expected to remain at City beyond this transfer window.
There is still work to be done, talks to take place and deals to be signed but Begiristain does not want to waste time.
As they wait to close in on some expected exits, City plans to continue to approach new signings. This is what they will do now with Cucurella and Brighton.
In the meantime, Guardiola is still on vacation, but Begiristain keeps him updated on everything on a daily basis.
The city manager will now travel to New York with his family. There is a golf event waiting for him.
Who knows if there will be another party to enjoy, as he did with Mishima in Barcelona.
If he does, Guardiola will have peace of mind that Begiristain will be working in Manchester to try and hook the left-back he has been so eagerly craving.
(Top image: Manchester United / Manchester United via Getty Images)