Manchester City and Manchester United have released their latest retained and released lists of players following the end of the 2014/2015 seasons.
It marks the beginning of a summer of transfer activity which will see both clubs with similar targets: to try and buy enough players to mount a serious title challenge next season.
City have the added complication of trying to fulfil UEFA home grown quotas within their squad following the departure of several players who might have qualified as home grown under Premier League and UEFA regulations. Richard Wright was also out of contract this summer but is expected to stay on following a contract offer. Wright will join Joe Hart and Gael Clichy as the only remaining senior home grown players on City’s books at this time.
Clichy qualified because of the three seasons he spent at Arsenal before the age of 21.
MAN CITY DEPARTURES
Dedryck Boyata (Celtic)
Adam Drury (released)
John Guidetti (released)
Frank Lampard (New York City FC)
Greg Leigh (released)
James Milner (Liverpool)
Alvaro Negredo (Valencia)
Dominic Oduro (released)
Micah Richards (released)
The loss of James Miler and Frank Lampard from Manchester City’s midfield will be hard to take although City are’t short of options in the centre of the park.
Micah Richards was out on loan at Fiorentina for the last year of his City contract although he didn’t get as much game time as he would have liked, playing just 19 times. His replacement at City, Bacary Sagna, has failed to displace Pablo Zabaleta despite playing in many of the big games for City last season although neither full back had memorable seasons by their own high standards.
John Guidetti was heavily tipped to make a difference up front for City and things certainly seemed to have gone his way dring a title winning season for Feyenoord on loan in 2011/2012 in which he scored 20 times in 23 appearances but he was laid low with mystery ailment which effectively halted his development. A brief spell at Stoke City followed in 2014 but he has been released despite helping Celtic to the title while on loan in 2014-2015 with 15 goals in 35 games.
Alvaro Negredo dramatically lost form after sustaining an injury in January 2014 following a run of form that returned 26 goals in 36 games for club and country. He failed to score in 16 games after being rushed back from injury. Valencia have an obligation to buy Negredo for a fee of £23.5m but may choose to immediately sell him on.
Dedryck Boyata will be travelling up to Celtic after signing a deal with them, he will replace fellow Belgian defender Jason Denayer who may get some game time for City if they decide not to purchase any more central defenders next season.
Denayer might be joined in the senior City squad by fellow defender Karim Rekik (who won the Dutch title on loan with PSV Eindhoven last season), attacking midfielder Marcos Lopes (who spent last season on loan at Lille in France), and 18 year old Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho whose goal for the EDS U19 team won them the inaugural Premier League International Cup last season and who has been earmarked for promotion to the first team squad by Manuel Pellegrini.
City will also be looking for home grown talent to fill their Champions League squad quota next season. All clubs in European competition are only allowed 17 foreign players out of a squad of 25. City are at their limit of 17 foreign players at the moment, with Stevan Jovetic forced out of City’s Champions League squad after the January signing of Wilfried Bony. City will need to sell more foreign players if they decide to bolster their ranks with overseas talent such as Paul Pogba or Kevin De Bruyne.
If City try to go for potentially overpriced home grown talent the likes of Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Everton’s Ross Barkley