Just as at Chelsea and Manchester United, the winds of change will sweep through the Etihad Stadium this summer as Manchester City bid farewell to Manuel Pellegrini after three years of service and usher in an exciting new era under Pep Guardiola. The 45-year-old arrives with a well-established reputation as one of football's most celebrated managerial talents and a plethora of winners medals earned during his prolific stints with Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.
The 2015/16 campaign was something of a double-edged sword for City, who lifted the Capital One Cup for the fourth time and reached their maiden Champions League semi-final. Those exploits came at the expense of their Premier League form, however, with a narrow fourth-place finish only eventually secured via goal difference amid a 15-point gap to surprise champions Leicester City.
An immediate return to title contention will be the bare minimum expected under Guardiola as he renews his heated rivalry with Jose Mourinho. He will also be hoping to ease the frustration of three consecutive semi-final exits from Europe's elite club competition with Bayern.
Business so far
Nothing official to disclose as of yet, although reports from Spain in early May suggested that City have already moved to activate the release clause of Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.
The player himself subsequently rubbished such speculation as "unfounded" and "inaccurate", but Guardiola is known to be a keen admirer of his talents and a deal is still expected to be completed soon. Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan's agreed transfer from Borussia Dortmund will also be announced imminently.
What they need
Central defence remains a real problem area for City, with captain Vincent Kompany plagued by injury woes, Eliaquim Mangala still yet to prove less erratic, and the jury still out on Nicolas Otamendi. The likely departure of Yaya Toure and the lack of impact from Fernando elicits the need for a new dominant midfielder, while a striker may be sought to provide competition for Sergio Aguero and young Kelechi Iheanacho in the event that Wilfried Bony is moved on. A left-back upgrade should also be on the agenda and Guardiola may be tempted to source a new goalkeeper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Who could join
Along with Laporte, who fractured his fibula and dislocated his ankle on duty for France's U21 side against Scotland in March before undergoing surgery, Guardiola is also said to retain a strong interest in John Stones. The 21-year-old England centre-back has endured a difficult few months at Everton but is still evidently viewed as a sound long-term investment by several high-profile suitors believed to include Manchester United and Barcelona. Chelsea had three separate bids rejected last summer.
Also high on the list is Gundogan, the long-serving Dortmund midfielder who finally looks set to depart Signal Iduna Park after years of speculation over a Premier League switch. It has been suggested that the German international is on the verge of becoming the first signing of the Guardiola revolution in deal worth an initial £17.8m. City fans hoping to see their prospective new recruit at Euro 2016 have been left disappointed after he was ruled out of the tournament due to a dislocated kneecap sustained in training.
Claudio Bravo, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Leroy Sane, Carlos Soler, Isco, Paul Pogba, Thiago Alcantara, Toni Kroos, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski and Alvaro Morata are among the other names linked with City so far. Any chance of enticing Sergio Busquets was ended when the gifted midfielder signed a new five-year deal at Barcelona.
Who could leave
The arrival of a tactical innovator in Guardiola who is widely revered as a key disciple of the late Johan Cruyff will almost certainly instigate an abrupt change in style at City. To this end, any number of players could be moved on after an underwhelming domestic season in order to sweep the decks for a host of signings better-suited to the Catalan's established way of thinking.
Beyond a core group including the likes of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero, no-one appears especially safe. Toure, sold by Guardiola at Barcelona in 2010, is finally expected to depart after more public posturing from agent Dimitri Seluk and sustained interest from the Chinese Super League as well as former manager Roberto Mancini at Inter Milan.
Mangala will be wary of a possible exit, while fellow centre-back Martin Demichelis and veteran goalkeeper Richard Wright will see their respective contracts expire in June. Fernando has hardly impressed at the Etihad Stadium and striker Bony may prove especially vulnerable after scoring only 10 goals since his switch from Swansea City in January 2015. Willy Caballero, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabian Delph, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas may also not be up to the required standard.
What the manager has said
Guardiola is not due to start work at City and hold his first press conference as manager until the beginning of July. However, chief executive Ferran Soriano has recently outlined his squad preferences and how they differ from Mourinho. Both Soriano and sporting director Txiki Begiristain worked closely with Guardiola at the Nou Camp.
"Guardiola always prefers working with smaller groups with stable hierarchies and not a lot of internal competition. Guardiola chooses to work with 14 or 15 players that have his total confidence. The end result is a very stable playing style and a changing room that doesn't harbour much conflict.
"Mourinho's strategy is different. Whether in Chelsea, Inter Milan or Real Madrid, Mourinho works with bigger groups, with many well known and talented players competing for the line-up. Mourinho assumes the complex task of managing his players' egos in exchange for having that much talent at his disposal."