Manchester City will be back among the big spenders this summer after chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak promised that the club will be ruthless in their pursuit of success.
Liverpool contract rebel Raheem Sterling, Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and Wolfsburg winger Kevin De Bruyne are some of the star names on City’s radar to replace those who will be shown the door after a disappointing season.
The club’s super-rich Abu Dhabi owners are now free of the Financial Fair Play restrictions that limited their spending last summer, and Al Mubarak warned his rivals that City will be a different proposition next season.
He said: ‘I can assure you this squad will be stronger and the team will be more competitive. I am confident and excited about what is coming next year.
‘We want to go to the next level with a squad that has the capability and quality to win the Premier League and compete in and win the Champions League and go all the way in the two cup competitions in England.
‘You will see some changes. Some players who have served us well will move on to the next challenges, while you will see us in the market bringing high quality individuals to fit in with what we are aspiring to coming in this summer.
‘I want the disappointment of last year behind me and behind us all. We have all turned the page and the energy right now is positive energy to getting back on track and winning back the Premier League and getting a better performance in the Champions League.
‘That is absolutely what is driving us right now.
‘I think it was a disappointing season as far as I am concerned. Disappointing for everyone involved with the club – Sheik Mansour, myself, the board, the management team, Manuel (Pellegrini), the players and of course above all the fans.
‘I think to end the season empty-handed, this is not what we have built here.’
Pellegrini will keep his job but Edin Dzeko, Samir Nasri, Stevan Jovetic and Aleksandar Kolarov are among those players who could be offloaded to make way for new signings.
Sterling and Pogba are both valued in excess of £50million by their clubs, while Wolfsburg would demand £40m for De Bruyne.
Al Mubarak warned that City are ready to flex their financial muscle in the transfer market again, and are now an attractive proposition for all the top players.
He told citytv: ‘I think this year will be an aggressive market. I expect it will be a huge market this summer from what I have heard and sensed so far and we haven’t even started.
‘Today I think we’re definitely in a different competitive position. We’re a club players want to come to play for. We’re an institution today and we can compete head-to-head with all the top clubs.’