After a feeble attempt of defending their Premier League crown, Manchester City relinquished their Premier League title to their neighbours without as much as a whimper last season
The manner of their campaign has brought about swift changes at the Etihad. Roberto Mancini, who led the club to an FA Cup and Premier League success in his four year spell, has been the shown the door, and there is a sense reverberating around the blue half of Manchester that a busy summer awaits.
Business so far
With Manuel Pellegrini's appointment as manager imminent, the club have already set about reconstructing their attack that so often lacked that incisive cutting edge last campaign. 26-year-old Jesus Navas has been brought in in to give the club the option of a traditional and dynamic winger that had been sorely missing at a price of £17m. By the time you read this, he may have been joined by Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho. Shakhtar Donetsk's determination to have the 28-year-old's full release clause fully met may not come to fruition; by City's determination to get their man suggests the Ukrainian club will be close enough to doing that.
Another priority for City has been to clear their squad of the various piles of desperately dead wood around the club, having started that process by releasing Kolo Toure and Wayne Bridge.
What they need
One of the prevailing reasons in last season's disappointment was City's lack of goals. The club scored 27 less league goals than they did in their Premier League winning season, suggesting their front line urgently needs to be refreshed. While the future of Sergio Aguero is assured after the Argentine signed a one year extension last month, the same cannot be said for Edin Dzeko, and a revamp of the clubs forward options could prove to be beneficial. As Samir Nasri continues to stagnate, the arrival of another creative mind could immeasurably help ease the burden on David Silva, and help the club rediscover their ruthless streak.
Last season, the arrival of Matija Nastasic proved to be a wonderful piece of business. Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano would do well to ensure their efficient centre half pairing of the young Serbian and Vincent Kompany is well covered, something not the case with just Joleon Lescott in reserve.
Who could join
If City are to keep with their open cheque book policy throughout the summer, the sky is the limit. A marquee arrival up front in the form of Edinson Cavani could prove to be a pivotal piece of business, and with Napoli themselves seemingly open to the arrival of Edin Dzeko, an old school swap deal plus cash could be on the cards.
When Pellegrini arrives at the Etihad, securing a deal for his former player Isco should be high on his priority list. A combination of Isco, Silva and Navas could prove to be one of the most lethal in the league, should they manage to convince the Malaga playmaker of a move.
Who could leave
Bosnian international Dzeko looks almost certain to leave for pastures new. After being convinced to stay last summer amid persistent speculation over his future, the 28-year-old could greatly benefit from new surroundings at a club where he could be once again be the main man up front.
The enigmatic Nasri remains an interesting proposition for Pellegrini. The Frenchman endured a tempestuous relationship with Roberto Mancini last season, where the outgoing manager told the press he sometimes felt like punching the attacking midfielder. Reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain seems to have died down, suggesting the once revered Nasri faces an uncertain future.
Despite the departures of Toure and Bridge, the club would do well to get rid of other members of their bloated squad, namely Maicon, Scott Sinclair and perhaps Javi Garcia.
What the manager has said
Still awaiting official confirmation of his appointment, Pellegrini has unsurprisingly resisted the urge to shout his grand City aspirations from the rooftops for the time being.
But in the build-up to a crucial summer for City, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said, "I think that's an area that no doubt will require a lot of improvement.
"But I assure you, with the squad we have, with the organisation we have and with the manager that's going to come in and with the new players that will complement the squad, we will have a strong team that is going to compete in the Champions League next year."