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Press link City with promising young defensive duo

LEROY: Insane away form...

LEROY: Insane away form...

Benfica and Toulouse defenders linked plus Leroy Sane's impressive away form are all on today's media agenda.

Highly-rated Benfica defender Alejandro Grimaldo admits he is proud to be linked to a club like City according to Sport Witness.

The young full-back started his career in the youth ranks at Barcelona during Pep Guardiola’s reign, so whether that’s the basis of the rumour or not remains to be seen but the Portuguese press speculate Grimaldo could be a target for the Blues.

The report reads: “Right at the start of the season, one of the players much linked to Manchester City was Alejandro Grimaldo. A La Masia product, the left-back was said to be admired by Guardiola and the rumour was much commented on by the Portuguese press, as he currently plays for Benfica.

“Grimaldo then suffered an injury which really impacted the 21-year-old’s season, restricting him to 14 league appearances so far.

“But this kind of transfer rumour never disappears, and that’s why when interviewed by Cadena Cope on Tuesday, the player was asked about Barcelona and Pep Guardiola.

PEP: Is Benfica star on his radar?

“Speaking of the Manchester City interest, Grimaldo described himself as “proud”.

‘A lot is said, and I have a good relationship with Guardiola from the times at Barcelona, but I should be focused on my club.’

“Grimaldo has a contract with Benfica until 2021 with a €60m release clause. After the injury, Grimaldo is now fit again and back in the team, which is perfect timing for Manchester City rumours to launch.”

Elsewhere, Mad About EPL suggest City could be tracking another promising young defender.

We switch to Ligue 1 in France which is producing a crop of exciting new talent – as demonstrated by Monaco – though it is to Toulouse we head for the latest link.

The story reads: “Rumours have surfaced linking Toulouse centre-back Issa Diop to Blue half of Manchester.

“At just 20 years old, he has had a sensational start to his career and has already made 30 first team appearance with the Ligue 1 side this season. Standing at 6’4 he projects a commendable figure in the heart of defence.

“Having a market value of €4m the French International is poised to be one of the greatest. With his present contract with Toulouse tying him to the club till 2020 the reported transfer value has been estimated to be around €20m.”

Finally, if you are hoping to top your workplace Fantasy League this weekend, Leroy Sane’s inclusion should be a given.

AWAY-DAY SPECIALIST: Leroy unleashed on the road

City’s exciting German winger has had an excellent first campaign in England and has been racking up the fantasy points with goals and assists – particularly on the road.

The Premier League’s official site write: “Leroy Sane's (£7.7m) away form could prove a game-changer for Fantasy Premier League managers on the final day of the season.

“The winger's recent performances on the road suggest that he could be Manchester City's key figure in Sunday's visit to Vicarage Road.

“Pep Guardiola's men take on Watford seeking a win to cement a third-place finish and will come up against a Hornets side who have conceded more goals (15) than any other team over the last six Gameweeks.

“Despite claiming a starting role and featuring in 15 of Man City's last 16 matches, Sane is currently part of only 7.2% of FPL squads.

“But the German's underlying statistics highlight his importance to a buoyant attack.

“Over the last six Gameweeks, Sane has totalled 56 touches in the opposition penalty area – more than any of his team-mates.”

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