Manchester City already have a starting XI under contract for the 2025/26 season following the signings of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez this summer.
City are well known these days for impressive forward-planning, tying down key players on long-term contracts to minimise the risk of someone leaving on a free transfer. That is a factor all the more important this summer, as players including Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva are all linked with exits but all have at least one year left on their current contracts so will earn City a decent transfer fee if they leave.
It may be that players like that aren’t part of City’s long-term future, but the Blues have managed to tie down at least ten players for 2025 and beyond and can even put together a makeshift starting XI for the first game of that 2025/26 season, assuming all are still at the club.
Ederson has been City’s first-choice goalkeeper for some time now, and has a contract until 2026, when he would still only just have turned 32. Zack Steffen has ambitions of succeeding Ederson and may have to be patient, although he is contracted until 2025 so could be persuaded to sign a new deal if he is happy with his prospects in three years’ time. Scott Carson may have retired by this point, so another third-choice goalkeeper would be needed either as a new signing or from the academy.
For a 2025/26 starting XI, the defence would have to be a put-together back three, consisting of Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and John Stones. Cancelo and Dias have contracts until 2027, with Stones’ deal expiring in 2026. There are a handful of academy players with long-term contracts too, so they could hope to be first-team ready by that point.
Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte have contracts until 2025 and may have extended by that point – although Ake is being linked with an exit this window to former club Chelsea. Kyle Walker is out of contract in 2024, and he will be 35 by the time the 2025/26 season has started. Likewise, Aleks Zinchenko has two years left on his deal.
This is an area where City are well-stocked, but also highlights two of the contracts that might be next on the priority list when the season starts. At present, City could field an attacking four-man midfield made up of some of their most promising youngsters.
Jack Grealish would be a central midfielder in this makeshift side, alongside James McAtee, with deals until 2027 and 2026 respectively. Cole Palmer and Kayky could offer width, with both also on deals until 2026.
Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva are out of contract in 2025, with De Bruyne 34 that summer and Bernardo 31. However, Bernardo has spoken of homesickness in Manchester and a preference to play elsewhere before he retires, so there’s a chance he could have left by that point.
Key men Rodri and Phil Foden, still relatively young, are out of contract in 2024, so should be the next in line for new deals to avoid them approaching the final years of their deals next summer.
Erling Haaland signed a deal until 2027 when joining this summer, while Julian Alvarez is also under contract for the same amount of time. Liam Delap completes City’s contracted XI for 2025 as his latest deal runs out in 2026.
Attacking depth will be targeted in coming years, as Riyad Mahrez’s deal has just one year left and he would be 35 by this point, while Jesus and Sterling both could leave this summer as mentioned.