Pep Guardiola has solved old Man City issue without needing Harry Kane or Jack Grealish

Manchester City could yet end up with Harry Kane and Jack Grealish in their starting lineup next season as Pep Guardiola plans a shake-up of his squad.

Kane is one of the top targets for the Sergio Aguero replacement that the Blues are targeting as a priority, having allowed their club-record striker to join Barcelona on a free transfer. While Dortmund’s negotiation position on Erling Haaland has strengthened in the months since that decision was taken, Tottenham star Kane has risked the wrath of his chairman Daniel Levy by making plain his desire to leave.

Aston Villa captain Grealish is another too that could move. Guardiola has long admired the creative midfielder and should any of his current squad leave for a substantial fee in the current window Grealish is seen as a player that would be attainable and could quickly fit into the Etihad set-up.

While both players would be welcomed in the right circumstances, City have long since reached the point where they are desperate for English talent to fill their Premier League and Champions League quotas. What was once an annual scramble under Manuel Pellegrini to fill the spots has been a non-event for some time now under Guardiola.

Having inherited Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling, the manager made it obvious early on that he wanted more English talent to give himself the best chance of succeeding in the league.

John Stones was snapped up in his first window and Kyle Walker added in the next, with no shortage of glances at the right-back’s Tottenham teammates Danny Rose, Dele Alli or Kane either at that time.

Those four were celebrating their first league title within 12 months of Walker arriving, and while Delph left for Everton Phil Foden came through to bridge the gap; they remain central to the plans of both City and England, having all started for Gareth Southgate against Croatia on Sunday.

Adding to the English flavour of the squad is Scott Carson, the 35-year-old goalkeeper that has spent the last two years at the Etihad on loan from Derby and will soon join permanently on a free transfer.

He has played just one game for the Blues but Guardiola has appreciated his contribution enough to want to keep him at the club.

Both Kane and Grealish could yet add to the homegrown contingent in the squad depending on how the transfer window plays out, but the comforting truth for City is that they no longer have to look to purchase England players to build a core within the team because Guardiola has already assembled one that means they don’t have to worry about such issues in their planning.

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