Manchester City’s relationship with FC Girona isn’t just about loans.

There’s a long term plan to help the Spanish club grow as part of City’s football family.

As Marca explain in their Thursday edition: ‘When the signature of the agreement between Girona and the City Football Group was signed, a range of possibilities was opened for the Catalan club. Agreements for new pitches, improvements in the stadium and a much more aggressive (and effective) marketing policy. And of course a capital increase to compete in the category.’

But, still, loans are the most visible aspect for fans to watch, and what could ultimately help Manchester City and Pep Guardiola, before the latter perhaps rides off into the Catalan sunset and runs Girona with his brother Pere.

Those loans have had a very mixed success this season, and Marca have taken a look at that. As many Manchester City fans will know, the loans of Larry Kayode, Douglas Luiz and Marlos Moreno have been a disaster, it hasn’t worked and it would be no surprise if every one of them is gone from Girona come February.

Much better has been Pablo Maffeo, who is called one of the ‘revelations of La Liga’ this season.

So much so, Marca say he has ‘all the possibilities’ of moving to parent club Manchester City next season and playing a role under Guardiola.

If every loan of four or five players can bring one first team squad returnee each season then it’s not a bad return for Manchester City.

In fact, it would be excellent.