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What the Media Says

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Ronaldo back in full training for Real

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

The countdown has begun!

Yes, all eyes turn to the Santiago Bernabeu as City’s date with UEFA Champions League destiny draws nearer.

There’s plenty relating to the Blues’ Semi Final Second Leg with Real Madrid making up the column inches of the paper and pixel media pages this Tuesday morning, so let’s have a delve shall we?

“Cristiano Ronaldo completed Monday’s training session with Real Madrid as he stepped up his bid to be fit for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City” declare The Express.

“Ronaldo sat out last week's goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium with a thigh injury which also kept him out of Saturday's 1-0 Primera Division win at Real Sociedad.

“However, the Portugal captain was back in training on Sunday, participating with his team-mates for the first half before working individually for the remainder, and he was able to take a full part in today's session.

“While the news about Ronaldo looks promising for Madrid, it is less clear whether his fellow forward Karim Benzema will be able to feature against City.

“The France international was replaced at half-time in the first leg against City with a hamstring problem and he was limited to running apart from the rest of the group yesterday.

“Midfielder Casemiro worked inside after picking up a knock against Sociedad.”

The Manchester Evening News pick through the bones of Sunday’s humbling defeat to Southampton with quotes from star man Kelechi Iheanacho who is determined to help City into the Champions League Final.

“(Kelechi’s) performance has given him hope of playing a part in City’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid - and he is hopeful of bagging again at the Bernabeu with the tie poised at 0-0.

““This game is not good preparation for us,” he said. “But we will keep it behind us, focus and train, and go to the Bernabeu and hope we qualify.

““Unfortunately for me, we lost so the goals didn’t mean anything but I will keep working hard to get some more.

““If I play, I need to work hard for the team and help them qualify for the final if we get the goals.

““I am in with a shot of being involved in Madrid, so I will keep working hard. Nothing is enough in football. I will keep working hard to convince the team that I need to be here.

““It doesn’t matter where you find yourself, you have to focus and concentrate and work for the team. When the ball falls to you, you have to put it in.

““It’s going to be a big challenge for us but we will keep our heads down and keep working hard to get there.”

““I hope we do well there and there is a great atmosphere. I haven’t been before, but I am happy to go there to get a win.””

And finally, The Express reckons there will be at least two Premier League suitors queuing for the services of Wilfried Bony this summer.

“According to the report, former club Swansea are keen to bring him back to the Liberty Stadium, while West Ham have emerged as suitors.

“Bony scored 25 league goals over two seasons at Swansea, aiding their Europa League campaign in 2013/14.

“The Swans have struggled for goals all season and could make a sizeable offer for their ex-striker during the summer months.

“However, West Ham are also ready to splash the cash at the end of the season, with manager Slaven Bilic preparing his squad for their move into the Olympic Stadium.

“Bilic is also said to be chasing Celta Vigo winger Nolito, while their pursuit of Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette could cost them a club record transfer fee.

“As for City, Bony's exit would leave incoming manager Pep Guardiola with a place to fill in his forward ranks - although it is Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte who is currently top of their summer shopping list.”

That’s all for now, but stay tuned to mcfc.co.uk as we will have all the latest reports from City’s pre-Real open training, team news from Manuel’s press conference and much more as we countdown to Wednesday night in Madrid.

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