Would Everton's Barkley improve Manchester City?

Man City Stadium Five

Issues over homegrown quota could be addressed with quadruple swoop.

As is the norm in their tumultuous cycle, Manchester City seem to be preparing an expensive rebuilding project this summer - just one year on from winning the title.

Manuel Pellegrini, who could be forgiven for expecting a bit more grace from the board given the silverware delivered in his first campaign at the helm, is believed to be all but a goner, while his dishevelled squad requires serious work.

While Director of Football Txiki Begiristain delays axing Pellegrini as he lines up a successor - with Jurgen Klopp and Diego Simeone said to be caught in a straight shoot-out - the senior figures at City haven't held back on planning transfer moves.

And top of their list is homegrown talent - with Frank Lampard set to head to New York at the end of the season, and James Milner's contract running down - prompting fascinating links from the Daily Star for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

The 23-year-old is said to be joined on City's English-centric shortlist by Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, West Ham full-back Aaron Cresswell, and Burnley hot-shot Danny Ings.

But would any of them actually improve City's torrid form?

While Ings has made a goal-scoring mark this term, attracting the interest of Liverpool and Manchester United, it's hard to see him getting in the team ahead of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, or £28 million new boy Wilfried Bony. Certainly not regularly, at least.

And going shopping at Arsenal again wouldn't be a cheap exercise, even if Wilshere is as available as he's been since starting his career at the Emirates.

With a £30 million price-tag, much would be expected of Wilshere - a man who has produced just eight assists in his past three Premier League seasons, an injury-riddled period in which he's made just 58 appearances.

Neat and tidy in possession, tenacious in the tackle, and a crowd favourite, that's not to write Wilshere off.

But it does suggest that James Milner should have been made more of a fuss off, with the versatile star linked with a move to Liverpool at the end of his contract.

Someone who would fit in better, and be easier on the bank balance, would be West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell - who only joined the Hammers last summer, for around £2 million.

His arrival would, presumably, be as an understudy to Gael Clichy - who is himself classed as homegrown from his time at Arsenal - as a replacement for Aleksandar Kolarov.

The 25-year-old has been something of a revelation this season, particularly in the early stages of the campaign, supplying four assists - the same as Clichy.

While sacrificing regular first team football may seem a risk for Cresswell, he's unlikely to go down the same route as Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair at City, as City's lack of wide-men means manager Pellegrini has often doubled up with Clichy and Kolarov on the left-hand side.

Perhaps more at risk of falling into that trip is the mercurial Barkley, whose progress would be halted by a lengthy stint on the sidelines watching Yaya Toure have his cake and eat it.

But the Everton live-wire would add a dynamism to the team that's missing when heartbeat Toure is absent.

Barkley's energy levels would certainly shake up a line-up that has often looked languid this season.

However, he'd need to work on becoming a more decisive force, having produced just one goal and a solitary assist in an underwhelming campaign.

By comparison, Samir Nasri has been involved in 10 Premier League goals, Yaya Toure nine, Fernandinho five, and Fernando two.

Another factor in weighing up a move for Barkley would be the outlay - the 21-year-old's asking price varying in the press between £15 million and £50 million.

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