Former Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol says winning the Premier League will be Pep Guardiola’s biggest challenge yet – but he fully expects him to do it.
Puyol was Pep’s captain during his time at the Nou Camp and he thinks other managers will try and replicate his style over the coming months.
Guardiola took over at Manchester City in the summer after dominating in Spain and the Champions League with Barcelona and in Germany with Bayern Munich.
The 45-year-old's former Barca captain Carles Puyol said: “It’s the biggest challenge for Guardiola, but I think he will change football in England.
Quoted in The Mirror he said: 'A lot of people say football is different in England to other countries but the way Guardiola works and puts pressure on his players will change football here a bit.
'His biggest challenge is to change the direct style of football. Now in England the football is more direct, with big centre-backs — I couldn’t play here, because I’m too small.
'Guardiola wants to start playing from the back with intelligent play from the goalkeeper. It doesn’t mean he won’t play long, like against Manchester United when they scored a goal with three touches, but it’s the whole style.
'He is based on ball possession and playing from the back. I have seen his influence on City very quickly. He is doing very well, he has very clear ideas which he tries to transmit to the players.
'He is the best coach I ever worked with and I’m pleased to see him in England.'
Meanwhile the Daily Mail believe City will offer Fernandinho a new two-year extension to his current deal.
They write: “Fernandinho is poised to put pen-to-paper on a new bumper Manchester City contract. The 31-year-old had been holding off on deciding his future until he found out where he stood in Guardiola's plans.
“But having played regularly, the midfielder is finally ready to sign a two-year extension.
“The Brazilian, who has become an integral part of Pep Guardiola's plans, has entered the final 12 months of his deal - causing concern at the Etihad Stadium that he could leave for nothing at the end of the season.
“City want contract talks wrapped up by the turn of the year when Fernandinho is allowed to discuss a free transfer with foreign clubs.”
Staying with Ferna and the recalled Brazil star has praised both his club and international managers for hitting peak form again this campaign.
The 31-year-old credits Manchester City boss Guardiola and Brazil manager Tite for helping him recapture his best form this season.
Xinhuanet.com quote him as saying: ‘To tell the truth, I feel fortunate to be working with two high-level coaches.
‘If one were to compare, I would talk of how they treat players, talking openly, eye to eye. Tite called me to explain how the team played. This is really good. The player feels important, part of the group, feels he has the confidence and support of the coach. It provides an opening for the exchange of ideas. The careers of the two managers speak for themselves.'
Just a snippet from All Africa who have a brief Q&A with Kelechi Iheanacho who also has nothing but praise for Pep. He says: ‘Everyone knows what Guardiola can offer, and I'm happy he came to Manchester City.
‘He's a great coach with great qualities. Guardiola is a great manager everybody knows and I'm happy to be part of his team. I'm really improving under him and I hope to work more anytime I get the chance to play.’
And that’s all for this media round-up – but we’ll keep you posted on City Now throughout the day with breaking news and so forth…