Three players Manchester City should sign

Sports Mole picks out three transfer targets to help Manchester City make a positive defence of the Premier League title.

Following a disappointing defence of the Premier League title during the 2012-13 campaign, Manchester City bounced back in style last term by regaining the trophy ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.

Much of the credit should go to Manuel Pellegrini, who replaced Roberto Mancini this time last year. The Chilean had never won a major trophy in Europe with Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, but he also added the League Cup to his Premier League haul.

Now, though, it's vitally important that City build up that success, rather than make the same mistake as Mancini. Bacary Sanga, Fernando and Willy Caballero may have already been recruited, with Eliaquim Mangala also expected to arrive shortly, but here, Sports Mole has picked out three further transfer targets that we believe will further improve the champions.

1. Paul Pogba, Juventus

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba in action for France against Ukraine on November 15, 2013.© Getty Images

Last summer, the transfer window as far as the Premier League was concerned was dominated by Luis Suarez's future. The Uruguayan wanted out of Liverpool and went public with his desire, but Brendan Rodgers stood firm. This time around, City appear to have their own soap drama brewing.

It started shortly after City had lifted the Premier League trophy and has continued since then - midfielder Yaya Toure allegedly wants out of the Etihad Stadium. On initial assessment, Toure's departure would be disastrous. After all, he scored 24 goals in all competitions last term, many of which carried great significance. Yet no player is irreplaceable, particularly with City's financial clout.

What's more, at 31, Toure is not going to get any better. It might not happen next season, but there will come a time when his powers start to wane. It's a completely opposite story for Pogba, who has just two full seasons of senior football under his belt. During that time he's won two Serie A titles, as well as the World Cup's Young Player of the Tournament award. An athletic midfielder capable of scoring goals, breaking up attacks and passing the ball, he is perhaps the closest thing to Toure in world football. Also, his arrival would irk with rivals Manchester United, who allowed the French international to leave in 2012.

2. Juan Cuadrado, Fiorentina

Juan Cuadado of Fiorentina celebrates after scoring the goal 1-1 during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Artemio Franchi on February 15, 2014© Getty Images

The signing of Jesus Navas last year was met with a largely positive reaction, mainly because it was believed that the speedy winger would provide City with an outlet that they lacked. For all the intricate football played by the likes of David Silva and Samir Nasri, until Navas arrived, the Citizens did not have an out-and-out wideman that liked to get chalk on his boots.

Navas made 48 appearances for City, but there was a real feeling, particularly during the second half of the campaign, that the Spaniard struggled to produce the goods on a regular basis. Consequently, the 28-year-old missed out on a place in Spain's World Cup squad.

Of course, it would be both unfair and naive to write Navas off after just one season, yet competition in wide areas would do no harm. While it is always risky to sign a player on the back of their displays at a major international tournament, Cuadrado, along with James Rodriguez, was undeniably one of Colombia's shining lights in Brazil. The tricky winger also has a keen eye for goal - a fact that he highlighted by scoring six times in Fiorentina's last seven matches of the season.

3. Jay Rodriguez, Southampton

Southampton's English striker Jay Rodriguez celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League football match against Newcastle United on December 14, 2013© Getty Images

One of the major reasons why City won the league last season was the fact that when one or more of their attacking unit lost form or was ruled out of action through injury, there was always someone that stood up and took on the goalscoring mantle.

As mentioned above, Toure scored 24 goals (20 in the Premier League), while Sergio Aguero (17), Edin Dzeko (16) and Alvaro Negredo (9) all made contributions at some stage. Stevan Jovetic may have struggled with niggles throughout the entire campaign, but he still weighed in with six goals. If reports are to be believed, though, Negredo is keen on a return to Spain and with City fighting on four fronts, a quartet of strikers is required - particularly with the injury records that Aguero and Jovetic possess.

Rodriguez is also currently sidelined with a serious knee problem, but prior to that, he'd had a clean bill of health for some time. What he would provide City with is plenty of pace and a keen eye for goal. He scored 17 for Southampton last season and but for the injury probably would have gone to the World Cup. Also, with Joleon Lescott gone and the likes of Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and maybe even James Milner likely to follow, the 24-year-old would boost City's English quota - something demanded in Champions League squads.

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini prior to kick-off against Tottenham on November 24, 2013
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