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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Pep Guardiola's Man City wishlist: Pogba, Lewandowski, Stones, Barkley

ESPN FC's Craig Burley argues that the bigger challenge for Pep Guardiola would have been managing Manchester United instead of Manchester City.

The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on! As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: 'The greatest deadline day signing ever'

There are no prizes whatsoever for guessing the name taking pride of place on every back page the morning after deadline day.

Confirmation that Pep Guardiola will manage Manchester City next season came in the midst of what had threatened to be an underwhelming day, and it seems he'll have around £150 million to lavish on new players.

Although the move isn't exactly a surprise -- City were a likely destination as soon as Guardiola announced his intention to leave Bayern Munich -- it has got everyone talking about what his transfer plans might be.

There's more on what they might entail below, but for now let's leave a verdict on his arrival to the Times, which hails him as "the greatest deadline day signing ever."

Pep's on his way to City, so which players are too?

What will Guardiola -- who, according to most reports, will earn upwards of £15m a year -- do with his huge summer transfer market backing?

Inevitably, there are mentions of Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi (he's on the list of targets, according to the Telegraph), but others suggest probably more realistic names.

The Independent says Everton duo Ross Barkley and John Stones, Juve's Paul Pogba and Bayern star Robert Lewandowski are all in the frame, while the Mail also picks Stones and Pogba but suggests Messi would be "out of range," even with his old boss in charge.

The Sun focuses on Lewandowski and says City are "ready for a £75m fight with Real Madrid."

The paper reports that though Guardiola has said he will not target key Bayern players at a new club, City bosses will open talks if Real make a first move for the Poland captain.

But the paper adds that the Bernabeu club remain "hot favourites" to sign Lewandowski, who has said in the past that he would like to play for them.

The Times thinks Guardiola will have a large shopping list -- "two new full-backs, a centre-half, a central midfielder and a striker" -- while the Guardian echoes suggestions of Pogba and Stones as incomers but adds Thiago Alcantara, Marcelo and Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho to the list.

The paper also casts an eye over who might go out when Pep comes in: Yaya Toure, who left Barcelona under his management to join City in 2010, Jesus Navas, Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernando and Wilfried Bony are the men deemed most vulnerable.

Guardiola: The managerial fallout

The Express suggests Manuel Pellegrini, dignified in announcing his departure from City, could end up at Chelsea.

The Blues, it says, "are believed to be considering Pellegrini as a replacement for Jose Mourinho, with interim manager Guus Hiddink only in charge until the summer."

Meanwhile Manchester United, once touted as a potential destination for Guardiola, are "closing in on Mourinho" in the aftermath of their neighbours' coup, according to the Star.

The paper reckons the arrival of Guardiola down the road has left them "reeling" and the prospect of his "making City the biggest and best team in Europe has seen United's worst nightmare come true."

United didn't sign anyone in the January window.

Terry 'offered huge Qatar deal'

It was only Sunday that John Terry told the world he was not being offered a new Chelsea contract but, given deadline day's Guardiola-related frenzy, it somehow seems longer ago than that.

Nevertheless, the Mirror reports that Terry has been offered a mega-money move to Al-Arabi and claims former Stamford Bridge superstar Gianfranco Zola "sounded out" the Blues captain, who is free to talk to foreign clubs because he is out of contract in the summer.

The paper says Zola was "confident his connections will help persuade 35-year-old Terry to move to Qatar ahead of lucrative offers from Major League Soccer and China."

Record-breaking Stoke signal intent

It's a new era for Stoke City, who have spent a club record £18.3m to sign midfielder Giannelli Imbula from Porto -- a big step up from the £12m that brought Xherdan Shaqiri to the Potteries five months ago.

It's not just the fee that's big, either: Imbula, 23, has been given a long-term contract and will be a cornerstone of Stoke's plans in the seasons to come.

Manager Mark Hughes, who said the deal was "a statement of intent," told the Stoke Sentinel: "These days usually go right to the wire. You can't stand still. When very good players become available, you have to go strong and make it happen."


- Arsenal, whose transfer window was pretty quiet, attempted to sign promising Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon, a 16-year-old regarded as one of the best left-sided prospects in English football, on deadline day, the Mirror reports.

Fulham had wanted Serge Gnabry on loan until the end of the season, and the paper says Arsenal hoped to do a Sessegnon deal "with Gnabry as bait" but the Championship club refused.

- Earlier in the window, Coventry midfielder James Maddison was being linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, but the 19-year-old has ended up making a late move to Norwich City, who have loaned him back to the Sky Blues for the rest of the season.

How good is Maddison? Well, the deal is reported to be worth £2.5m, but Aidan McCartney of the Coventry Telegraph believes the playmaker will soon be worth more than £10m and tweeted that the Canaries have landed him for "an absolute snip."

- Finally, Deloitte's figures for this January window show that total spending stood at £175m, the largest amount for five years.

Not as quiet a window as it seemed, then.


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