manchester city pinalty protest

Barcelona’s €50m starlet and ‘next Gabriel Jesus’ on Man City January transfer radar

Welcome to the latest edition of the City Is Ours daily round-up, where we take a look at some of the Manchester City stories you might have missed.

Another day, another link between City and Barcelona — although this is one that should certainly please Blues.

Penalty fluffs aside, Gabriel Jesus has proved to be a fantastic signing since moving to the Etihad Stadium five years ago and the Premier League champions are apparently looking to mine the same well of talent in Brazil.

Away from the field, we see the Jack Grealish card being played in a romantic setting. It’s certainly an ambitious ploy…

Gavi could become vintage Guardiola star

As we’ve seen over the past week, Ferran Torres’ unveiling press conference was not quite the end of his Barcelona transfer saga.

The Blaugrana still need to clear some space on their wage bill to register Ferran with LaLiga and Philippe Coutinho’s loan move to Aston Villa is unlikely to be their only outgoing this month.

While City should have no interest in various chunks of Barcelona deadwood, Marca are carrying a report, which initially appeared in El Nacional, stating that Gavi is on Pep Guardiola’s radar.

The 17-year-old midfield sensation has a €50mrelease clause in his contract. Although Barca would clearly like to tie the Spain international down to new terms, head coach Xavi said on Friday that the situation relating to senior player contracts would have to be remedied before the likes of Gavi can be offered fresh terms.

Our view: We all know Pep can never have enough technically gifted midfielders and Gavi has the potential to be one of the very best of the coming generation.

Barcelona’s abysmal financial state makes this move an intriguing possibility, but the club are in the early stages of a renewal and rebuilding process under Xavi. Losing arguably their finest homegrown youngster would play terribly against that backdrop so they would be loath to let it happen.

Jesus, Kayky… Endrick?

City fans enjoyed Kayky getting his senior debut from the bench during last night’s 4-1 win over Swindon and the 18-year-old Brazilian might soon be joined by another highly rated compatriot at Eastlands.

Brazilian journalist Jorge Nicola has listed City as being among several heavyweight European clubs keeping tabs on Palmeiras’ 15-year-old prodigy Endrick.

It’s already looking like a crowded pursuit, however, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid all similarly thought to be in the mix.

Our view : City, of course, signed Jesus from Palmeiras back in 2017 and the reigning Copa Libertadores champion come with a certain guarantee of quality where their youth system is concerned.

The big and broad list of major teams apparently chasing Endrick suggests this one is very much in its early stages. But, in the meantime, can we find out how he is at penalties?

Jack Grealish heartbreaker

January is a time of new beginnings, so what better time to delve into the Guardian’s blind date column?

What on earth has this got to do with City? Bear with us, you’ll not be disappointed.

Charity worker Ellie was paired with auditor Tom (both 27) for this weekend’s instalment, although it seems the latter’s calculations left something to be desired when he compared himself to a City star over tapas.

Asked whether there had been any awkward moments, Ellie replied: “He said he’s been likened to Jack Grealish and I couldn’t quite hold in my laughter.”

Although the rest of the couple’s evening appeared to be enjoyed by both parties, Tom found himself very much in the friend zone at the end of proceedings.

When asked to describe Tom in three words, Ellie’s cutting assessment was: “Not Jack Grealish”.

Our view : Do we really need this section when we’ve already had “Ellie’s view”?

In fairness to Tom, he does have vaguely floppy hair, but you’d have to be in a very dimly lit room to consider him a Grealish lookalike.

We just hope he didn’t start getting his calves out between courses.

Man City ‘cement Erling Haaland interest’ as Pep Guardiola ‘chases’ £33.5m new Kevin De Bruyne

Welcome to the latest edition of the City Is Ours daily round-up, where we take a look at some of the Manchester City stories you might have missed.

As part of a bold and unprecedented move, we’re going to start by providing an update on City’s presumed pursuit of Erling Haaland.

The Borussia Dortmund striker is understood to be set to begin discussions with his current club over his future in the next few weeks, but City are in no mood for such talk and have identified the forward as their first-choice target.

Pep Guardiola has been keen to afford some of City’s academy stars their chance in the first team this season and he’s reportedly looking to add another starlet to his ranks.

And finally, having tested positive for COVID-19, Guardiola will be unable to attend his side’s FA Cup clash with Swindon on Friday night, but could he be about to take inspiration from his old foe Jose Mourinho in a bid to guide his team through to the fourth round…

City have been credited with an interest in Haaland since he was in nappies (his dad was City captain at the time, to be fair), but a number of other names have also been touted as potential Sergio Aguero successors, with Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic regularly linked to an Etihad Stadium switch.

However, The Atheltic now report that Haaland is City’s ‘first-choice target’ and that they will ‘push hard’ to ensure they win the race for the frontman’s signature.

The report goes on to add that City plan to hold talks with Haaland over the coming weeks and months, yet Real Madrid’s pursuit of the Dortmund man could possibly throw a spanner in the works.

Our view: Copy and paste from every single round-up we’ve done over the past six months.

Haaland’s goal record speaks for itself but whether he can adapt his game to conform with Pep’s demands remains to be seen. That being said, City should break the bank to try and sign him just to be able to laud it over cross-town rivals Manchester United if nothing else.

Belgian wonderkid on Pep’s radar

Voetbal Nieuws report that City have joined a whole host of Premier League clubs including Leicester and Tottenham in the race for youngster Charles De Ketelaere.

The 20-year-old has been making a name for himself in the Belgian top-flight with Club Brugge and has already notched his first senior international goal.

De Ketelaere is said to be available for around £33.5m, a price tag that’s also alerted the attention of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Our view: As an avid watcher of the Belgian Pro League (and by that I mean I accidentally flicked onto an Anderlecht game once) this would be a great buy.

In all seriousness, given the talent at Roberto Martinez’s disposal, any Belgian player with four senior international caps and a goal to his name at the age of 20 must be some talent.

There’s been a lot of talk about Guardiola potentially moving on from City when his contract expires in 2023, and even if this does turn out to be the case he’s clearly adamant about leaving the club with the best possible chance of thriving after his departure.

Guardiola in the laundry basket?

manchester city pinalty protest

Remember when Mourinho hid in a laundry basket so he could give a team talk having been banned for Chelsea’s game against Bayern Munich back in 2005? Well, Pep might be about to do the same.

Of course, we jest. Pep is unable to attend his side’s FA Cup game against Swindon having tested positive for COVID-19, though assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell has confirmed the City boss will be able to conduct matters from home.

“Obviously, the manager is going to be connected but we’ve already discussed about the tactics and everything that we have to try to be doing during the game,” Borrell told the club’s official website when asked about Guardiola’s absence.

“During the game, it might change but I have been working with him [Pep] for seven years now and we think very alike. Again, I’ll take my decisions, but the manager is going to be connected and like any other time it’ll be between all of us.”

Our view: For the sake of Mrs Guardiola we hope this is either a routine win for City or she’s returned to Barcelona after Christmas.

Imagine if he just has an Anfield style meltdown in the middle of the kitchen after a poor refereeing decision and starts throwing cigars and chairs at the wall.

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