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Published: 13:27 | 7/6/16

City chairman expects departures

Club set to put faith in youth development

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak says he expects to see a number of players leaving the club this summer as new boss Pep Guardiola prepares to put his faith in youth.

Guardiola has already made his first signing since taking over from Manuel Pellegrini, with midfielder Ilkay Gundogan joining from Borussia Dortmund for £21m, but says he will look to integrate the club's emerging crop of talented youngsters into the senior squad.

According to Al Mubarak, the move, which is in line with the club's long-term strategy of youth development, will see a number of senior players depart the Etihad over the course of the summer.

However, he would not say how many would be moving on.

"We have to keep that balance between what we have built and the future," he said.

"We have to keep a balance between age groups, between young players and experienced players, and all this balance is really in the hands of Pep.

"Pep has a particular way he wants to manage the squad and a particular way he wants to play. I think we will need particular players who will join the team that fit and will be moulded to the way he would like this team to play.

"There will also be some players [for whom] the time is right to move on. I think we will have some changes this summer. We will invest as we have always done in this club, in this team.

"We will provide the necessary resources for Pep to build a team that has the ambition and capability to go and win back this Premier League for us, to go as far as we can and try and win the Champions League and keep pushing at the cups."

Al Mubarak revealed that Guardiola's track record of bringing young players through made him an attractive proposition for the club.

"That's one of the reasons why Pep was so highly considered," he added.

"He has done that with Barcelona, he has done that with Bayern Munich.

"Even with the abundance of talent he had with both first teams, Pep always has a knack for talent and he loves to find young players that have incredible talent.

"We have that at our club. We have incredible talent today. This is an organisation that has won the under-10 national championship, the under-13s under-15s and the under-18s this year.

"We are competitive with a lot of talent across all age levels going all the way to EDS [Elite Development Squad] and Pep, I think, will enjoy that and will find a lot of gems we are going to produce.

"I think that has always been the objective and the premise behind the investment we have made in the City Football Academy and the infrastructure we have in place today.

"This has been operational now for two years and we are starting to see the outcomes and the results of that this season and I hope for many seasons to come.

"We would like to have the maximum amount of players in the first team coming out of our academy."


By: Kieran O'Daly

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