After a stellar opening that promised so much, Pep Guardiola's highly-anticipated first season at Manchester City eventually proved to be something of a damp squib. The Citizens failed to claim any silverware and only cemented third place and automatic qualification for the Champions League on the final day, leading their manager to admit that both Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked him by now.
Such a disappointing campaign came despite City topping the spending charts and lavishing £174m ($221.4m) on a host of high-profile new recruits including John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Claudio Bravo and Nolito. Arguably only Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus, who finally arrived in January, proved worthy of their respective outlays.
Identifying the myriad of weaknesses that still persist within an ageing squad, Guardiola has wasted little time in instigating another big-money overhaul and acquiring fresh young talent.
With two potential new stars already through the door, City are expected to keep on spending heavily to ensure they are able to deliver success in the revered Catalan's sophomore term.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak says the club want to strive for an unprecedented quadruple in 2017-18. No pressure, Pep...
Business so far
In a word, plenty. Having secured the £43.6m capture of highly-rated Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva, City also moved quickly to complete the signing of goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica for £34.7m.
A quintet of experienced players in Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas and Willy Caballero have all been released at the end of their respective contracts, although the long-running question of Yaya Toure's future was resolved with a new one-year deal.
Turkish forward Enes Unal completed a £12m switch to Villarreal last month and young goalkeeper Angus Gunn has been loaned to Norwich City.
What they need
A goalkeeping upgrade was vital after Bravo's woeful season and with Joe Hart expected to be sold. With Ederson secured, Guardiola must now ensure that he is able to replace those departing full-backs.
Further attacking additions will be made as the squad continues to be trimmed, while it seems that City may also be after another midfielder. A new centre-back would not go amiss either, with Stones and Nicolas Otamendi both subjected to frequent criticism and captain Vincent Kompany not to be relied upon at this stage of his injury-plagued career.
Who could join
Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy is expected to follow Silva to the Etihad Stadium and disgruntled Tottenham Hotspur stalwart Kyle Walker should also join. If respected Chilean journalist Fernando Solabarrieta is to be believed, then Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has now agreed personal terms ahead of a blockbuster £50m transfer. What a statement of intent that would be.
Prising Virgil van Dijk away from Southampton will be a tough ask despite Liverpool's humiliating withdrawal. Ryan Bertrand, Isco, Serge Aurier, Leonardo Bonucci, Fabinho and Ryan Sessegnon have all been linked with City of late, while former United target Hirving Lozano is said to be on the verge of a move to the blue half of Manchester.
Who could leave
Hart is hoping to re-establish himself in the Premier League after a year out of the limelight at Serie A outfit Torino, with West Ham United now emerging as a potential destination. His high wages mean another loan deal might be the most realistic option.
Another crop of forgotten loanees, Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony, should also be on the way out along with Nolito. Fabian Delph's position looks equally vulnerable, Kelechi Iheanacho is attracting attention from several top-flight suitors and the likes of Jason Denayer, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bersant Celina can all be expected to depart on a temporary basis once again.
Al Mubarak emphatically shut down whispers of a potential exit for Sergio Aguero, who was somewhat sidelined during the second half of last season thanks to the form of Gabriel Jesus. Celtic are also eager to secure the return of Patrick Roberts.
What the manager has said
Speaking last month, Guardiola stressed that City would need time to compete against the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
"Money is not enough in football," he said. "To compete against them we need time - decades - to be there. The club was not playing in Europe for 30 years. Teams like Liverpool and Chelsea last season were at home this season [not in the Champions League].
"Before we were never there, now we are there for seven years. To achieve the next step the gap is shorer but it is more and more difficult. To compete against the big, big clubs in Europe - Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Atletico Madrid - Atletico made that step but even in that step they could not win the Champions League. For that, you need time. In the world, time does not exist. It is not allowed."