Tag Archives: Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne: Man City playmaker looking forward to brief break

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Kevin de Bruyne says that Manchester City’s weary players are grateful for some time off before their next game against Leicester.

City boss Pep Guardiola, who saw his side draw 1-1 with Burnley on Saturday, has given his squad three days leave ahead of the game against the Foxes next weekend.

Benjamin Mendy, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, John Stones, David Silva, Fabian Delph and Phil Foden are all sidelined for City as the Manchester team is gradually plagued with injuries amidst a schedule packed with domestic fixtures.

“I was feeling it from the first minute,” said De Bruyne after the match at Burnley. “You feel great for 10 games, then you feel OK for 10 games and then the rest you feel like shit.”

On the other hand, De Bruyne, 26, has missed only three of City’s 39 games in all competitions as the Blues still chasing four trophies this season. His workload has been increased by David Silva’s personal circumstances and the sidelining of Yaya Toure, as the latter has been limited to only 89 minutes of Premier League football.

In his appearances, the playmaker has completed 2,975 minutes in a City colours, while also registering the most assists, crosses and through balls in the division and covering more ground than many players do in a season.

“You know, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’ve only got 15 or 16 players available at the moment so we need to get through it,” added De Bruyne.

The week-long gap between fixtures is City’s longest since the November international break. They will host Leicester at the Etihad on Saturday.

“It will do us a lot of good,” said De Bruyne. “I’m going away, it doesn’t matter where!”

Pep Guardiola target Aymeric Laporte set to join Manchester City

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Aymeric Laporte has decided to leave Athletic Bilbao and join Manchester City this month although Premier League leaders will have to pay the Frenchman’s release clause after he informed the La Liga club that he wants to leave.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola is determined to bring in new faces before the end of the month and has opted to make a renewed attempt to secure Laporte after the French defender previously decided against a move to the Etihad Stadium in June 2016.

The Frenchman had also signed a four-year contract containing a release clause of €65m for two seasons, which is now believed to have risen to €70m but that has not put off City from contacting his agents this week to discuss a potential transfer.

As a result, Laporte has agreed a deal in principle to join City and has informed Athletic of his decision to leave before the end of the winter transfer window, with further developments expected on Wednesday.

It is believed Athletic will not be open to negotiations with any fee lower than Laporte’s buy-out clause, and City are willing to pay that amount in the coming days.

Laporte, 23, has already made almost 200 appearances for Bilbao since making his debut in 2012 but is yet to win a full cap for France.

City have also reportedly opened negotiations with Shakhtar Donetsk over a move for Fred, with the Ukrainian champions indicating they would be willing to sell the 24-year-old for €40m.

Although he mostly plays the role of a defensive midfielder, Fred can also assume the role of a left-back.

While he had also signed a five-year contract with Shakhtar earlier this month he is believed to be open to a move to the Premier League either this month or at the end of the season.

Alexis Sanchez set to start for Arsenal despite Manchester City offer

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Alexis Sanchez is set to be included in the starting eleven for Arsenal in Wednesday night’s League Cup semi-final first leg at Chelsea despite Manchester City’s £20m offer to sign him.

The Gunners was dealt another blow in Mesut Ozil to an unspecified injury as the midfielder joins Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud on the injury casualty list ahead of the League Cup game at Stamford Bridge.

With the Gunners particularly stretched in defence, coach Arsene Wenger could include the new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos among his substitutes. Although the 20-year-old centre-half just arrived last week from PAS Giannina in Greece and Wenger’s plan was to loan him out.

“He’s not ready to play for us,” the manager said last Wednesday. “We’ll give him out on loan.”

While David Ospina will start against Chelsea — in place of the first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech — Wenger will otherwise pick his strongest available team, including Sanchez.

City have wanted Sanchez and could sign him on a free by the end of the season, but the two-month injury blow to Gabriel Jesus blow could force City manager to get the deal completed earlier.

With City having opened talks with Arsenal and have indicated a willingness to pay £20m, Sanchez, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona, is now permitted to discuss terms with overseas clubs.

The Manchester club are the frontrunners for his signature despite interest expressed by other top European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. A contract worth £13m a season until 2023 – or £250,000 a week – is understood to have been offered to Sanchez’s representatives.

Man City and Man United will escape actions over tunnel incident

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December 22 — Manchester United and Manchester City will face no action from the Football Association over an incident that took place in the tunnel after the derby on 10 December.

Reports indicated that the tunnel incident arose after what United viewed as an excessive celebration following City’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford, which sent them 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

After City’s players celebrated in front of their fans after the final whistle, the players headed down the tunnel, where it is understood that United boss Jose Mourinho made his feelings known outside the visitors’ dressing room as he made his way to post-match interviews.

A one-pint milk carton — which had been in the City dressing room for tea and coffee — was thrown at Mourinho. The United manager did not get splattered but a member of his staff was.

City’s Brazil goalkeeper Ederson and Mourinho exchanged angry words in Portuguese — but Mourinho carried out his post-match media engagements as normal and made no mention of the row.

City coach Mike Arteta was left with a cut after he was hit by a plastic drinks bottle, but it is not known who threw it and sources from both clubs said no punches were thrown.

The FA said it considered evidence from “clubs and independent eyewitnesses” before concluding that no action needs to be taken against both sides.

While Mourinho will also not face action from the FA over his pre-match critics and questioning over the aspects match officiating, the FA reminded the Portuguese that any further public comments regarding such issues may result in disciplinary action.