But whether they can claim the crown again could be decided before a ball is even kicked, with sides’ transfer business in the off-season so often defining how they fare during the campaign.
The market officially opens on Friday and it looks set to be a busy one for Pep Guardiola and his team.
But what’s the state of play before everything kicks off at the end of the week? We’ve taken a look at the lay of the land when it comes to City and transfers.
Has anyone been signed?
You might just have heard about the small matter of Erling Haaland’s arrival from Borussia Dortmund. The powerful Norwegian has yet to be officially unveiled as a City player, but a deal in principle has been completed and it’s only a matter of time until he’s a bona fide City star.
He won’t be the only new arrival in pre-season, with Julian Alvarez confirmed as a signing last January before being sent on loan back to River Plate.
The Argentine will, however, travel to Manchester this summer and is expected to play a significant role for the Sky Blues next term.
Has anyone left?
Fernandinho departed at the end of the campaign meaning City are in need of a new captain, but to date he’s the only member of the ‘21/22 first-team squad who has departed.
Scott Carson’s contract is set to expire at the end of the month and there has been no suggestion from the club whether he’ll leave or sign an extension.
The only other player City have let go of is Pedro Porro. The defender signed for the club in 2019 but has never played a game for the senior side. He did, however, feature against City last season when on loan at Sporting Lisbon, the club he has now joined on a permanent deal.
Where do they need to strengthen?
Despite the immense talent in City’s squad, they’re lacking in numbers. The arrivals of Haaland and Alvarez will help, but they need further reinforcements.
Full-back seems to be a key one, with City playing all of last season with just three in the wide defensive areas.
Guardiola will also need a replacement for Fernandinho at the base of midfield, while another striker to offer back-up for Haaland could prove significant.
Should we expect many more signings?
Yes, mainly because City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said so in an interview last week.
“We are looking to strengthen the team in the areas that we need strengthening,” he revealed. “As you know, every season some players leave, and then we have to continuously refresh the team.
“Again, we will always look at improving and strengthening. I think we’ve made two very important additions already, but I anticipate we’ll be doing a couple more.”
Who has been linked with a move?
Marc Cucurella has been the player most repeatedly linked with a move to the Etihad, with ESPN claiming he could cost up to £35m and The Athletic also saying City are confident of wrapping up a deal for the left-back.
Meanwhile, ManchesterWorld understands Kalvin Phillips is the main target to replace Fernandinho, after impressing in recent seasons for Leeds United. Elsewhere, the Sun claim City will step up their efforts to conclude a deal once the international fixtures have ended.
Other players to be linked with Guardiola’s side include Jarrad Branthwaite, Bukayo Saka, Enzo Fernandez.
Who else could leave?
There are no shortage of City stars being linked with moves away from the club. Gabriel Jesus is perhaps the star most regularly touted as being on his way out, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid reportedly interested.
Raheem Sterling is another who could be on the move, although the latest reports from the Mirror say he is likely to see out the final year of his contract and then move for free in 12 months.
Ilkay Gundogan is also in the final year of his contract and was linked with a move in the last weeks of the season, but speculation has subsequently cooled.
Meanwhile, according to the Evening Standard, Oleksandr Zinchenko is a target for Arsenal and West Ham United.
Newcastle United were reportedly weighing up a move for Nathan Ake, but the defender’s recent comments about playing for City in 2022/23 appear to have scuppered any chance of a transfer.