One thing is almost certain, Jesus Navas's time at Manchester City is almost up. There's no space in the Pep Guardiola world of fluid positioning for the one-dimensional attacking player.
There are other things that we know as well: the style that Guardiola will implement when he takes the helm at City. It's a highly possessive and aggressive style of play, that is nevertheless strict in the sense of pressing cues, positional awareness, off-the ball movement and communication.
Many times his formations seem the makings of a mad scientist, or a perfectionist who only succeeds in breaking his creation in the process of changing the smallest detail, but in reality his approach is very pragmatic and tailored to counteract the opposition's strengths while enhancing his team's.
That is of course if you exclude the arrogant roll of the dice against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, where he sent out a team with only three defenders to match up one-on-one with the best three attacking players in the world. A tactic that spelled disaster for the team, their Champions League hopes and just for one night, Guardiola's reputation and genius.
The assumption that was initially proven correct when Guardiola took over Bayern was that he would enforce his Barcelona style on the team. In his first press conference as Bayern manager, he fought against that notion by suggesting that the Barcelona players have different qualities to the Bayern ones, and that it was he who had to adapt. Regardless, he laid down his known blueprint to how a team should play. Which worked to relatively good effect that year - winning him the Bundesliga in his first season.
Bayern Munich's coach Josep Guardiola is soaked in beer as he celebrates with the German soccer trophy following their final German first division Bundesliga soccer match of the season, against VfB Stuttgart, in Munich May 10, 2014. Bayern Munich secured
Image credit: Reuters
But just as in the Barcelona match up a year later, in the Champions League semi-final in 2014 he would encounter a Real Madrid team with a frightening array of attacking players, built to counterattack from the wings with a decisive finisher in the middle. They beat Bayern 5-0 on aggregate, to which Guardiola lamented that there's no defence for his style of play after such a result.
It is of course, incredibly difficult to win the Champions League. No manager has won it more than three times. Guardiola has won it twice. What he has also done after those two disastrous losses is to learn from them.
After the first year, the system had to make way for the players. The possession and aggressiveness still existed but he made the plan confirm to the stars who were available to him, rather than burdening them with the system. So Tiki-Taka gave way to a more wing-based attack that emphasised the lethal power of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery.
Robert Lewandowski was brought in, not only to apply the finishing touches to team moves, but to drop down and help the build-up, to move laterally and draw away defenders and to also score five goals in nine minutes.
It's impossible to replicate the power of Lionel Messi and with Ribery consistently injured, the idea of the false nine took a backseat to the creation of the wing wizards. And rather than dally on the ball trying to break down defenders with passing moves, he looked more to the ball up to the best attacking players as quickly as possible to isolate and beat defenders one-on-one.
Bayern Munich's Brazilian midfielder Douglas Costa applauds prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs Hamburger SV
Image credit: AFP
It's an idea that has continued into his final year. The two major signings for the German club in the summer were Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman, two young, dynamic wingers who love to put defenders on the back-foot. Both have been hugely successful, not only domestically but in Europe as well. Costa especially has thrived as Ribery recovers. And Guardiola's system is built on using him as effectively as possible.
The goal now is to win the ball back as quickly as possible and get it to him so that he can beat the defender and send it into the box. And he's moved across the whole attacking third of the field in order to attack different areas. Coman as well.
Which is not to say that Bayern don’t score when those two aren't on song, as they still have some of the best midfielders in world football, but Guardiola has adapted to his best players rather than trying to mould them into pawns on his chessboard.
What this means for Manchester City is that, first of all, everyone will have to work hard. Guardiola's system is akin to a snake strangling its prey slowly, crushing its bones and suffocating it as it begs to escape. That type of domination requires an unreal effort from all the players - something that leads to a ton of injuries every year.
Secondly, possession will be emphasised. Not just as a tool for creation but also a defensive one. Bayern are one of the best defensive teams in Europe because they keep the ball away from the opposition, and when they lose it, the opponents are too isolated and under too much pressure to create much from it.
Raheem Sterling celebrates with Kevin De Bruyne after scoring the first goal for Manchester City
Image credit: Reuters
The rest will be up to the players that City have now and will have in the future. With Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho, there's a wealth of young attacking talent. Sergio Aguero is also in the mould of forwards that Guardiola adores, those who can create and finish well, while David Silva is a master of possession who should fit seamlessly in the system. The big fear is the tenure of Yaya Toure, the man that Guardiola sold to accommodate Sergio Busquets - a decision that looks like a no-brainer now.
And the fears are warranted. This style of play requires effort, which Yaya seems short of. But Guardiola is also the same man who managed to squeeze a few more years out of the decrepit body of Xabi Alonso by using his deep passing to feed the wingers during transitions so it's not far-fetched to assume that Yaya could play the same role.
There's also the issue of defenders, with Vincent Kompany perpetually injured and the rest either too old or too incapable of going a full 90 minutes without a mental collapse. But those are issues that will be relieved by the vice-grip on possession; the defenders will not often find themselves isolated against an attacker. Though it is to be seen how they will play with the ball at their feet since in this system they will be asked to be part of the play and creators from deep, rather than just a shield for the keeper.
But for all intents and purposes, what Guardiola will bring to City is what he brought to Bayern and Barcelona before that: a maximisation of the team's strengths and protection from its weaknesses.
Weird formations. Lots of goals. A high possession rate. Fluid play that requires intense effort. Manic episodes on the touchline. Domestic titles. And barring another match-up against Barcelona, a possible Champions League victory.