Will Man City complete January transfers? What has Pep Guardiola said and which areas need strengthened?

The Manchester City manager has already told fans what to expect in the mid-season window.

Manchester City enjoyed an impressive start to the 2022/23 season, before the World Cup put a pause on the club scene until the end of December.

But despite progressing to the next stages of the Champions League and EFL Cup, plus looking good in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola has at times lacked options when selecting his team. It was an issue that impacted City in the latter stages of last season and nearly handed Liverpool the title in the final weeks of the campaign.

To avoid a similar problem this term City may have to add numbers in January, but Guardiola’s comments earlier this month explain why that looks unlikely. "We are not going to sign anyone in January,” he said ahead of the victory over Chelsea.

“We are not going to sign [anyone] in January. The squad we have we are pleased [with], the squad will stay the same,” he continued.

Guardiola repeated that stance in a press conference before the 2-1 loss to Brentford, City’s final match ahead of the break. That will leave the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager with an outfield playing squad of 21, three of whom include youngsters Rico Lewis, Josh Wilson-Esbrand and Cole Palmer.

Presuming no January transfers are completed, City may approach the second half of the season with concerns surrounding two key areas. Midfield has proved to be a real issue due to Kalvin Phillips’ shoulder injury, with Guardiola starting three of Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in almost every game so far this campaign.

Full-back is the other area which has been troublesome for Guardiola. He only has three natural options to choose from in the two wide defensive areas, one of whom, Sergio Gomez, has not impressed following his summer move, while Kyle Walker missed the last 11 games before the break due to injury.

Explaining his transfer rationale, Guardiola said in August: "I like to work with not many players and have everyone involved. It is what it is. We have shown in the last years we have a small squad and we are there in the last stages.”

Yet, such a policy took its toll on City last season, and Guardiola will hope the same challenges don’t emerge come May and June.