Guardiola's EPL test
Guardiola proved his worth in Spain and Germany but can he survive in the EPL?
If the other leading managers in the English Premier League are considered rock stars, then Pep Guardiola is Frank Sinatra.
He's the chairman of the board, an elegant, effortless craftsman who makes artistic perfection not only appear simple, but also a way of life.
Of course, there's also an underlying steeliness, a latent desire to work harder than any other to stay at the summit.
Sinatra had links to the mafia. Guardiola was raised in La Masia, the world's most competitive football academy.
His move to Manchester City underlines his insatiable hunger.
He could have coasted at either Barca or Bayern Munich, the biggest fish in their respective oceans.
But his resume had a weakness. He had never prevailed in the EPL.
Guardiola went to Man City to further his education and extend his legacy, but this isn't a cakewalk for the Catalan. He not only joins an unpredictable league at its most competitive, but he's also at a polarising club.
At best, City are begrudgingly respected, but rarely loved by weary sceptics.
They were not the first club to buy success with wealth, but there was a certain soullessness to their rapid rise.
Second-tier superstars joined the second team in Manchester for the pay cheque, rather than the pedigree.
Only Guardiola can change that.
Nolito, for example, signed not for the money, but the man.
Finally, City boast a real managerial magnet; a tractor beam that drags football's knights towards a vast empire.
Without a doubt, Guardiola has taken on the biggest coaching challenge of his career.
But he also knows that domestic and European silverware move him closer to that elusive title of "greatest of all time".
Leroy Sane, 20, winger
Guardiola had monitored the youngster's progress at Schalke and moved quickly to sign one of the most promising talents in Europe.
Sane's tender age obscures a tough teenager with two full seasons of Bundesliga football under his belt and an 11-year career with Schalke.
He joined when he was just nine. Sane also made his international debut for Germany at 19.
On the right wing, Sane is a natural replacement for the exasperating Jesus Navas and potentially offers City a balanced attack for the first time in years.
Still learning, he'll inevitably make mistakes, safe in the knowledge that Guardiola nurtures a protective environment that turns boys into men.
Nolito, 29, winger
Euro 2016 confirmed the suspicions of many sceptics. Raheem Sterling isn't the finished article. He was overpriced, overhyped and underwhelming.
Nolito, on the other hand, delivered precisely the kind of solid, dependable performances on the left wing that have deserted Sterling.
Admittedly, Spain exited the tournament early, but Nolito left with his dignity intact and earned Guardiola's approval.
At 29, the winger represents a stop-gap as City patiently wait for Sterling to fulfil his potential (or find his successor).
Guardiola, who gave Nolito his first-team debut at Barcelona, knows what this signing will bring: Commitment and consistency, which have been in short supply at City.
Ilkay Guendogan, 25, midfielder
Even Juergen Klopp acknowledged that Guardiola had pulled off a transfer coup.
Under Klopp, Guendogan drove Borussia Dortmund to a league and cup double with his rare ability to play both artist and artisan.
His impeccable work-rate is matched by an attacking incision. He threads the needle effortlessly in central midfield, which earned him one of the highest pass-completion rates in the Bundesliga.
His swashbuckling runs bear comparisons to Yaya Toure, but Guendogan is arguably less reckless.
At Dortmund last season, he played deeper and scored less, but dominated more in a position that Guardiola considers essential for his formation to flourish.
In the EPL, Guendogan could enjoy more freedom to push forward.
THE FINAL ANALYSIS
If, as expected, John Stones joins Manchester City for a grotesquely inflated sum, consider the rough line-up.
In a 3-5-2, which Guardiola used in pre-season, there could be Joe Hart, Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi in defence; Fernandinho, Guendogan and Yaya Toure somewhere around the centre circle; Leory Sane and Nolito out wide; Kevin de Bruyne in the hole and Sergio Aguero up front.
That still leaves Raheem Sterling, Fernando, Fabian Delph, Aleksandar Kolarov, Bacary Sagna, Wilfried Bony and, lest we forget, David Silva on the bench.
There's even a third tier of players that includes Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, Pablo Zabaleta and Eliaqium Mangala.
City's strength in depth suddenly looks phenomenal and Guardiola probably isn't done yet. But there are caveats.
Three at the back worked in short bursts at Euro 2016, but it's a riskier proposition across 38 games in the EPL, which means deploying fullbacks.
Kolarov, Sagna and poor Zabaleta were hardly models of consistency last season.
Up front, Aguero will always be an accurate barometer of those around him. When City pour forward, he reigns. When they wander, he's left in the wilderness.
In other words, City remain a burgeoning squad of outrageous talents in search of the clear-headed system, approach and mindset that allowed Leicester City to pull off their title-winning miracle.
The missing link was always the manager. Guardiola really will either make or break Manchester City's season.
- IIkay Guendogan (Borussia Dortmund, £21m)
- Nolito (Celta Vigo, £13.8m)
- Leroy Sane (Schalke, £37m)
- Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras, £27m)
- Martin Demichelis (released)
City sign Moreno, then loan him out
Manchester City have announced the signing of Colombia forward Marlos Moreno from Atletico Nacional.
The 19-year-old has inked a five-year contract with the Premier League club, but will spend the 2016/17 season on loan at La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna.
Moreno, who cost a reported £4.5 million ($7.9m), is City's seventh signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Leroy Sane, Ilkay Guendogan, Nolito, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Aaron Mooy.
City director of football Txiki Begiristain believes the teenager, who helped Atletico Nacional win the Copa Libertadores earlier this year, has a great future.
He said: "Marlos is an excellent prospect who has already broken into his national team.
"He makes and scores goals and is an intelligent footballer, we're delighted to have signed him."
- PA Sport.