Pep Guardiola is set to splurge £150m ($218m) on Neymar and Sergio Busquets when he takes over at Manchester City next summer. The former Catalan manager is looking to build a team which can challenge for top honours across Europe and has earmarked the two players as the cornerstone of his success.
The Daily Mail reports that City are ready to back Guardiola with a move for the Barcelona duo, who have only two years left on their current contract. Guardiola has won the Champions League and the La Liga with Barcelona, but is yet to scale European success with Bayern Munich, where he is set to win the Bundesliga for the third year in succession.
The club were also looking to offer Messi a deal to come to Manchester, but the huge fees made the move a bit unrealistic. Also, relations between the two are strained, which came to the fore during Guardiola's final year at the Nou Camp. On the other hand, Busquets has won multiple Champions League titles with Barcelona and has a brilliant relationship with Guardiola who brought him out of the reserves to star in the first team.
The 27-year-old does not speak any English but has the physicality to attune himself to the rigours of the Premier League. His understanding with Guardiola will be an important aspect in the team the Bayern manager will try to build at the Etihad next season. Guardiola will be helped by former Barcelona executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain who have previously worked with the manager.
Manchester United and Real Madrid are also believed to be interested in Neymar but the Pep factor is likely to turn the tide in City's favour. Barcelona have already rejected an offer from Old Trafford for the Brazilian and are likely to be tested yet again this summer with both Manchester clubs likely to be in the mix.