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Manchester City have did not start the season at quite the canter that many expected after they gave up their Premier League crown but they have been quietly gaining momentum, after their early wobbles.

Through to the Champions League round of 16 with ease City have not lost just one league match since the start of October. Too many draws, however, mean they were eight points off Liverpool on Christmas Day with a game in hand. Part of the reason for those numerous draws has been their surprising struggles in front of goal, domestically at least it has only been in a 5-0 win over Burnley where Pep Guardiola's side have really cut loose.

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Manchester City believe they're leading the race to acquire Lionel Messi this summer.

Fabrizio Romano's take on Manchester City

The priority is to renew Kevin de Bruyne's contract, the agreement is close to extend the agreement for five years with the Belgian midfielder. The club will also decide about the contract issue with Sergio Aguero, which expires next summer. There is no desire to sell Gabriel Jesus in January, while a new quality midfielder will be sought for the summer.

Player City should target

We'll let Guardiola give you an idea of the January business that is to be expected. Asked whether any signings might arrive he said: "No, not at all. I have a fantastic team to fight for all the titles." 

Clubs like Manchester City view the January window as anathema and rightly so. If you're having to make major signings mid-season it is only because you failed to do your business right in the summer. They did most of what needed to be done, replacing Leroy Sane with the excellent Ferran Torres and adding a potential defensive marshal in Ruben Dias.

If there was one player who went unreplaced it was David Silva. Phil Foden, long viewed as his successor, has got more game time but often in the front three rather than as a 'free eight' and City could perhaps do with someone to play to the left of De Bruyne. The summer may be the best time to secure such a signing but considering the financial turmoil in Ligue 1 could it hurt to see what it might cost to sign Houssem Aouar from Lyon?

Player most likely to leave

With Joao Cancelo having impressed at left back in his second season there could be a chance for Oleksandr Zinchenko to move on having played just one Premier League game this season. There is also the matter of Eric Garcia, out of contract at the end of the season and wanted by Barcelona. Having rejected a contract offer from City it is most likely a question of whether he departs in January or the summer.

Transfer prediction for City

Anyone hoping for marquee signings at the Etihad is likely to be disappointed, for now at least. Better, City reason, to hold their fortune in reserve for the summer. Who knows, Erling Haaland might be available then.