Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Can Txiki Deliver a Big Name Signing?

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Can Txiki Deliver a Big Name Signing?

Article excerpt

TXIKI Begiristain needs a marquee signing this summer - and Leonardo Bonucci fits the bill perfectly. Pep Guardiola has eased the pressure on City's director of football for now - but the Spaniard continues to be scrutinised.

Vocal sections of City's support remain to be convinced by a man whose record in the transfer market has too often failed to impress.

But by securing the services of Guardiola, he landed the biggest catch of all.

Guardiola was the manager even Roman Abramovich's billions couldn't attract to Chelsea, yet Begiristain delivered him to City's Abu Dhabi owners.

His role in the appointment of the most sought-after manager in world football should not be underestimated.

Guardiola's appreciation for the part Begiristain played in getting him the Barcelona job in 2008 - ahead of Jose Mourinho - has engendered a powerful bond between the two.

But having secured his marquee manager, the question is whether he can deliver a marquee signing to accompany him this summer.

City's business so far has been understated. More a case of savvy, rather than spectacular.

Ilkay Gundogan could prove an absolute steal at Pounds 21m if he can assume the Xavi role in the heart of Guardiola's midfield.

Nolito - at Pounds 13.8m - is another snip for one of the standout performers for Spain during the Euros.

But City supporters are craving the type of signing that defined the early years of Sheikh Mansour's ownership.

By services Guardiola, the catch Superstar recruits like Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and even Robinho made emphatic statements.

Even if John Stones arrives for a world record fee for a defender at over Pounds 50m, his patchy form for Everton last season was evidence of his status as a work in progress.

Likewise Leroy Sane.

The Schalke winger is tipped to be the next star of German football - but he was on the periphery of Joachim Loew's squad at Euro 2016 and the feeling in his homeland is that he needs at least another year to develop before making a major move.

Begiristain would argue that he is looking for the next generation of Galacticos, which is a considerable part of his remit. …

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