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What the Media Says

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Ballack: Sane is the future of Germany

SPOTTED: Gael Clichy looking right down the lens.

SPOTTED: Gael Clichy looking right down the lens.

Manchester City face Chelsea later today in one of the biggest Premier League matches on the calendar and there are plenty of headlines ahead of the match.

One player that seems certain to start all of the biggest matches for City at the moment is German winger Leroy Sane. The youngster is receiving a lot of praise from the football world and former Germany and Chelsea star Michael Ballack has joined in.

Nizaar Kinsella writes for Goal: “Ballack is a former Germany captain and won 98 caps, and he believes that Sane will become a key player for club and country.

"I am impressed by his physical improvements since he changed club, as he was just a young kid from Schalke," Ballack, speaking on behalf of BT Sport to Goal. "He adapted quickly to the Premier League and he has this confidence to go dribbling, he's open to face defenders.

"Sometimes he gets knocks but he stands up and is not hiding. He is asking them questions again, not scared of the challenge. He has improved his game so much, because of his physical ability to make long runs. Sometimes he will play full-back, wing-back or on the wing.

"I've seen fantastic games when he has been more defensive and made his long runs forward with the ball and without the ball. His vision on the ball [is great]. his left foot, he has a great touch and I am sure with Pep Guardiola as a coach, he will learn and learn and learn more as he grows in age.

"He has shown that with the national team as well when he played in the last months. He was quality, not nervous and performed immediately. I am pretty sure he will be one of the key players in the future for Germany."

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Both Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte held their pre-match press conferences yesterday and a lot of reports are focusing purely on what they have said. However, The Independent have decided to focus on the similarities and tension between two coaches at the top of their field.

Miguel Delaney scribes: “Conte meanwhile really must decide whether to stick or twist against a team guaranteed to come at them, and how intensely to do it. If Chelsea decide to sit back more as in the manner of that December game, there is the danger that City could finally score the goals they deserved to in that match and have threatened to for some time.

“If Chelsea look to impose their game with higher pressing in the way Conte would presumably idealise, though, they may leave the space in behind that sleek forwards like Leroy Sane can be devastating in.

“Whatever happens, it’s highly unlikely to be a game that allows anyone to relax, let alone the managers.”

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The promise of exciting football at the top of Premier League doesn’t slow down the transfer rumour juggernaut though and City have once again been linked with a number of European names.

The Daily Star believe Valencia full-back Jose Gaya could arrive at the CFA in the summer.

Paul Hetherington speculates: “Valencia left back Gaya is on City boss Pep Guardiola's list of defensive targets.

“Gaya, 21, is valued at £30m and is one of the hottest properties in Spain. The Spanish Under-21 international has also been scouted on a regular basis by Arsenal.”

MARCA have reported that another defender currently playing in Spain could join the club in the summer. Real Madrid’s Pepe is out of contract at the Champions League holders in the summer.

Roberto Gomez writes (translated): “Manchester City or PSG are the options between which the Portuguese player is debating with less than three months until his contract expires.”

The third and final defender in Spain linked with City today is Atletico Madrid’s Theo Hernandez.

The Daily Mail’s Simon Jones believes: “The talented young defender was the subject of an enquiry from City last summer and they have maintained an interest while he spent the season on loan at Alaves.

“However, Atletico's fierce rivals Real have made the 19-year-old a six-year contract offer and are willing to pay his buy-out clause.

“Theo and his elder brother Lucas, a 21-year-old centre back, are both admired by City and Liverpool.”

There will be full coverage and build-up of Chelsea v Manchester City on mancity.com throughout the day!

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