City are this morning linked with surprise summer move for an alleged long-time target.
The player in question has just committed himself to his club by signing a new deal, so it seems unlikely, but the Daily Star (via The Times), suggest the Blues will still make an attempt to prise the target away.
They report: “Hector Bellerin was heavily linked with a move to the Etihad last summer.
“But he snubbed Manchester City’s interest before agreeing to extend his stay in north London. That new Arsenal contract does not seem to have put Guardiola off though.
“And The Times claim Bellerin is on his radar as he looks to freshen up his squad.
“The newspaper says Willy Caballero, Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure are likely to leave Manchester City at the end of the season.
“And they suggest current loanees Samir Nasri, Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony could be moved on permanently too.
“Bellerin is not the only defender on Guardiola’s wish list though.
“The former Barcelona gaffer is apparently interested in signing Virgil Van Dijk, Juan Bernat and Jose Gaya too.”
Away from transfer speculation and looking towards this weekend’s FA Cup tie, Reuters suggest Crystal Palace will now use the clash with City as a potential launching pad for the remainder of their season.
They write: “Having written off the FA Cup as an unwelcome distraction prior to their third-round clash, Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce may now be hoping it provides a tonic to soothe frustrated fans and a pick-me-up for their beleaguered players.
“Palace host Manchester City on Saturday in one of two all Premier League fourth round ties, with Arsenal's match against Southampton the other highlight of the weekend fixture list.
“On paper, a City side who swept aside West Ham United 5-0 in the previous round, are one of the last teams Allardyce would have wanted to face as he tries haul his side out of their current malaise.”
Finally, Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has warned it will 'take time' for Manchester City to see the full benefit of Pep Guardiola.
The Mirror report: “After winning his first 10 games in charge in all competitions, Guardiola has struggled to replicate his early success at the Etihad.
‘He has different players now and people sometimes underestimate what this means,’ he said.
‘Whatever problems he may have I think stem from the adjustment of working with guys he has never worked with before, getting them to come around to his way of thinking and getting to the point where they really get the full benefit of his approach. That takes time.
‘I think that's much more of an issue than him having to adapt to the Premier League.’
More gossip and rumour tomorrow morning…