By Karl Matchett.


Transfer deadline day is usually taken up by rumours, potential big-money splash-outs and the odd surge of disappointment as a hurried late effort to bring in a new face falls though late on. What it is not usually dominated by is headlines of a managerial nature, with under-pressure bosses usually either having been replaced prior to the window or being given a few more weeks with a new signing or two to save their season.


Manchester City opted to do away with all of that this deadline day and instead confirmed their managerial change for next season: Manuel Pellegrini is out, Pep Guardiola is on his way in and their four-year chase for the current Bayern Munich boss is over.


Guardiola's approach to the game is unlike most other bosses on the planet, with his tactical versatility and complete focus on dominating possession and territory as much as possible; no matter who his predecessor was, an element of change would have to have been expected, but moving from Pellegrini to Pep perhaps offers a more seismic change than most in terms of personnel and requirements in the XI.


Recycling in central midfield


The key area of the park under Guardiola, his central midfielders must be mobile, technically adept and capable of both winning back possession quickly and keeping hold of it for extended periods. City's current quartet have many strengths, but they don't appear to, combined, offer the same sort of dominance and assurance of play that a typical Guardiola team has managed.


Of the four-Fernando, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Fabian Delph-Fernandinho is probably closest to type with his blend of physicality and underrated ability on the ball, but there's no doubt this is an area where Guardiola will look to add a true behemoth of technique and creativity to the side.


It's possible that someone such as Kevin de Bruyne could be used in an offensive central midfield role to allow another attacking option to flourish further forward, but the Spanish manager could take a cautionary approach to his lineup, especially early on in the season. 


Offensive full-backs


Pace, passing and positional work in both halves of the pitch-non-negotiable staples in Pep Guardiola's attack-minded full-backs at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.


Pablo Zabaleta has been one of the league's best full-backs in recent seasons, but age and injury may cost him a regular spot unless he convinces the incoming manager that his mentality and experience are both worthy replacements for a lack of acceleration down the right. On the opposite side it has often been a case of playing whoever is fit, rather than having a guaranteed first choice who will perform to a high level every week.


They have to attack at every opportunity, yes, but also be capable of getting back into their defensive shape quickly.


A left-back is an almost guaranteed addition once Guardiola walks through the doors on the Etihad Campus and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a right-back joining him. Centrally, there's an argument for new faces too…but City will play higher up the pitch, his tactics at time vary enough to only play one natural centre-back and there are two at least at the club who, individually, have the traits which suit the soon-to-be-manager's style. 


Attacking midfield


Where Guardiola's teams vary from many others is in his use of those who support, create and indeed shape the final third: he'll fit as many attacking midfielders in as possible, always looking for movement and penetration behind the opposition defensive line, by way of through-passes as well as runs off-the-ball.


City are hugely blessed in this area-de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas offer different skill sets of similar roles-but the suspicion must be that Guardiola has his own man in mind to play a key role.


Sergio Aguero must surely still be the focal point for the attack, and at least two of the above names should still have a huge role to play, but there will space in the squad and the regular team to add a new big-money, statement signing for the new manager who can act as a conduit for creativity and add regular goalscoring to the City attack.


There are few certainties where Guardiola is concerned; he could play with a back three or four, with a striker or without and with wing-backs, wide forwards or no discernible width whatsoever, instead relying on rotation of positions and dominance of the ball to create openings. What is sure is that his way of playing demands a certain calibre of player, and Manchester City will be accordingly active in the transfer market next summer to arm their dream manager with the tools to work his magic.