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What the Media Says

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Shearer: City to star in most exciting season ever

TOGETHER: City's squad celebrate during their final friendly of pre-season against Arsenal.

TOGETHER: City's squad celebrate during their final friendly of pre-season against Arsenal.

It’s the first morning of the new Premier League season and there are season previews aplenty from across the web.

BBC pundit Alan Shearer expects this to be an enthralling season with City eventually coming out on top.

Writing on the BBC Sport site, he said: “I know I am not the only one expecting a special season. I have never known so much anticipation leading up to a new campaign, and there are lots of reasons people are so excited.

“I agree with MOTD host Gary Lineker that Leicester will not retain their title - but that still leaves six teams who can win it: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

“A lot can happen between now and the [close of the] transfer window but, speaking before a ball is kicked, I think it will come down to a fight between the Manchester clubs.

“If you pushed me, I would go with City because of new manager Pep Guardiola and the quality of their squad, but it is going to be very close.”

Elsewhere, the Telegraph have reported on both the level of interest Guardiola has attracted since arriving in Manchester and his style of management.

Jason Burt writes: “Mourinho himself has returned – again – but it is across Manchester, at Manchester City, not United, and with Pep Guardiola, that the greatest level of fascination exists.

“Success without playing the way you like to play means nothing to me,” the Spaniard said on the eve of the season.

“Of course all managers say similar things but maybe not with the same level of clear-eyed conviction. Moyes will want to win his way; as will Mourinho. They all have their philosophy but are often willing to adapt pragmatically along the way.

“Instead there was an uncompromising thread to the manner that Guardiola said he wanted to do it as, after dominating La Liga and the Bundesliga, he turned towards England and the emotion, competition and hurly-burly physical intensity of the Premier League, a league that has always fascinated him.”

Finally, ESPN journalist Jonathan Smith has stated that Pablo Zabaleta has never considered leaving City despite a summer of speculation.

He said: “Zabaleta, 31, started just 13 Premier League games as he fell behind Bacary Sagna in the pecking order under manager Manuel Pellegrini and was linked with Italian sides Roma, Inter Milan and Juventus over the summer.

“However, the 31-year-old, who is now entering the final year of his contract, said he never considered quitting the Etihad and hopes to be back to his best after missing this summer's Copa America to have surgery on his ankle.”

That’s all for today’s round-up of City-related gossip. Keep checking mancity.com throughout the day as we build towards the big kick-off!

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