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Raheem Sterling says Manchester City can beat anyone in the world.

Manchester City are flying in the Premier League and Europe but Pep Guardiola is still concerned he doesn’t have enough options. Defender John Stones was ruled out for up to six weeks on Saturday after pulling his hamstring in the 2-0 win over Leicester City and Guardiola insisted: “We don’t have a big squad.”

City spent heavily in the summer and may now be looking for a bargain with a number of highly rated players out of contract at the end of the season. Guardiola could opt to move for them at a reduced price when the transfer window opens in January or wait until the summer and pick them up for free.

Here are five of the best players that Catalan could be considering …

Alexis Sanchez

The Arsenal forward was close to joining City during the summer transfer window with a deal agreed until the Gunners pulled the plug in the final hours when they couldn’t find a replacement.

Sources have told ESPN FC City will consider returning for the Chilean in January with Guardiola concerned about his attacking options.

The City boss is short of width on the left side following the serious knee injury to Benjamin Mendy and would like another forward to take the strain off winger Leroy Sane.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is still hopeful he convince Sanchez to stay but ESPN FC has been told the 28-year-old has his heart set on a move to the Etihad and even Wenger has conceded they may be forced to cash in.

Emre Can

Liverpool’s contract negotiations with the German midfielder have reached an impasse as Can enters the final seven months of his deal.

Juventus, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have both been linked with the 23-year-old but more recently City have emerged as a possible destination.

Guardiola has two defensive midfield options in Fernandinho and Yaya Toure with the Brazilian playing the bulk of the games this season. Both players are in their 30s and out of contract themselves in the summer although Fernandinho is expected to get a new deal after Guardiola described him as one of the “best three holding midfielders in the world”.

The City boss may consider bringing in a new face and Can, 23, would seem to be a good fit with his Premier League experience.

Alexis Sanchez, out of contract this summer, has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City.

Leon Goretzka

The Schalke midfielder has been linked with a move to Anfield, as a replacement for Can if he does leave Anfield.

Goretzka can also play in the holding role but his ability to play in a number of other positions could appeal to Guardiola, who likes players who have flexibility in their game.

Schalke’s CEO Christian Heidel told Bild that they will not consider selling the 22-year-old in January and they remain hopeful that he will sign a new deal.

However, clubs will be able to speak to him from January and he could follow the same path as former teammate Sane, who made a successful switch to City from the Gelsenkirchen club.

Faouzi Ghoulam

City were already short of a left-back going into the new season and that situation was made worse when Mendy ruptured his cruciate ligaments in September. Fabian Delph has stepped in and impressed in the position but Guardiola may want to further strengthen in that position in January.

He has spoken highly of Algerian international Ghoulam, who has the pace, skill and width that he demands from his full-backs. Unfortunately, Ghoulam suffered a similar injury to Mendy when City won at Napoli in November ruling him out for the season and any move in January.

The Serie A leaders are hopeful he will sign a new contract but the 26-year-old could remain a possibility for City in the summer.

Jack Wilshere

The Arsenal midfielder was among England’s highest-rated players only a couple of years ago but since then injuries have seriously hampered his progress.

During Guardiola’s first season at City, Wilshere was on loan at Bournemouth and he spoke highly of the Englishman.

But Wilshere struggled to make a big impact at the Vitality Stadium and this season has returned to Arsenal where he has played just 25 minutes in the Premier League.

At 25, Wilshere still has the ability to get his career back on track and Guardiola may be prepared to take a chance on him and add a home-grown play to his squad.

Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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