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What the Media Says

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Preseason derby adds spice, says Carrick

DERBY DUEL: Sergio Aguero and Michael Carrick go head-to-head

DERBY DUEL: Sergio Aguero and Michael Carrick go head-to-head

As the dust begins to settle on the 2016 European Championships, attentions turn back to domestic matters.

With just over a month until the Premier League season returns, transfer gossip dominates the headlines and as always, City are very much in the thick of it.

However, there are one of two alternative stories…

Rob Pollard of the Manchester Evening News has scribed a piece suggesting Pep Guardiola will need time to adjust to the English game.

The article reads: “Pep Guardiola’s appointment as Manchester City manager has seen excitement and expectation among the club’s supporters rise to levels rarely seen before.

“Their enthusiasm is, of course, understandable. After the disappointment of last season, which saw the club almost wilfully stagnate as they waited for their No. 1 managerial target to free himself from his Bayern Munich contract, they feel their team has some real momentum again after an appointment that has sent clear message to the rest of the world about City’s ambitions.

“This is a man who has won consistently since becoming a manager in 2008. He bagged 14 trophies in four seasons at Barcelona, including two Champions Leagues and the club’s first ever treble.

“But Guardiola’s own demeanour suggests he wants to temper expectations. He delivered a humble first press conference with no majesty or promoting of his record, no talking up City’s chances or declaring himself special.

“He asked for time and reminded people he will need to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League and made it clear his squad needs further reinforcements. This wasn’t a chest-beating performance – it was a calm, measured reading of the task he faces.”

Meanwhile, United’s Michael Carrick has been speaking to the press about the upcoming Manchester derby ‘friendly’, asserting the fixture has ‘added spice’ to his side’s training camp.

The two sides lock horns in the International Champions Cup in Beijing on 25 July.

Quoted in an article on ESPN’s website, he states: “I'm sure there will be a little bit of added spice for a preseason friendly and it'll be great for the fans out there to witness.

"The support we get out there is incredible so the atmosphere will go up a notch I'm sure.

"Preseason is an important time for the team and for the players, making sure that you get to that level that you need to be at for the start of the season."

Moving on… and I promised you transfer rumours – so here they are!

According to Football Espana, Barcelona are weighing up the possibility of selling goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to City for €20m.

It’s reported: “Although La Blaugrana have yet to hear from Bravo or his agent about a move away, they are remaining cautious of any noises from the Premier League giants.

“The 33-year-old has a release clause of €40m, but Barca may consider selling him for half of that, providing the former Real Sociedad man wants out.

“City are also understood to be interested in Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but the Catalans may be more inclined to sell Bravo, a player for the present, than the German, who is seen as one for the future.”

Elsewhere, Squawka claim the Blues have made contact with Torino over a move for the £17million-rated Bruno Peres.

There’s also an alleged ‘update’ on the Leonardo Bonucci rumours - so say Gazzetta World anyway.

Writes Thomas Tague: “Juventus and Italy defender Bonucci looks destined to depart Turin this summer with Pep Guardiola’s City knocking on the door, preparing a huge bid to prise his services from the Juventus Stadium.

“Whilst the Citizens are happy with the €60 million valuation of Bonucci, Barcelona have reacted in the opposite way and instead dropped their interest last week, baulking at the fee.

“Chelsea have also been linked to the 29-year-old in recent weeks, although the Blues are understood to be lagging behind their top Premier League rivals in the bidding.”

Finally, there may be a departure from the Etihad as Turkish Football believe Aleks Kolarov is heading to Besiktas.

Emri Sarigul expands: “The transfer of Manchester City full-back Aleksander Kolarov is likely to be announced once West Ham complete the transfer of Gokhan Tore on a one-year loan a source close to the Black Eagles told Turkish-football.com.

“West Ham are expected to announce the singing of Tore and will pay a £3-4 million loan fee. Besiktas are currently under a three-year FFP assessment and must show that their income exceeds expenditure.

“The Istanbul giants will be able to release funds for the Kolarov transfer once the Tore move goes ahead.

“City are open on letting Kolarov leave and have been in advanced talks with Besiktas regarding his transfer.”

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Sagna and France looking to make history

FOCUSED: Sagna has impressed throughout the tournament

Bacary Sagna and Eliaquim Mangala will have the chance to become European champions tonight when France face Portugal at the Stade de France.

Sagna has been an ever-present in his nation’s run to the EURO 2016 final and he is likely to play a key role again tonight against Portugal’s star man, Cristiano Ronaldo.