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ESPN: City targeting Benzema and Higuain?

What the MEDIA says finished

What the MEDIA says finished

Good Morning and welcome to your Wednesday edition of rumour, gossip and speculation.

The transfer window isn’t yet officially open for another week, but the back pages and website headlines continue to be dominated by potential deals and reported interest – as ever at this time of the year.

Let’s start on the continent shall we, as ESPN suggest that a couple of high profile strikers could be on City’s hit list this summer with a new partner for Sergio Aguero the desired result.

Gonzalo Higuain and  Karim Benzema are the names mentioned, with Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko allegedly set to move on to make room.

The article reads: “City are prepared to pay £50 million for Liverpool attacker Raheem Sterling while Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has also been linked, but sources have told ESPN FC that City are also targeting a top striker to play alongside Sergio Aguero.

“The club already brought in Wilfried Bony from Swansea in January, but they are expected to offload Stevan Jovetic after an injury-hit two-year spell while doubts remain over Edin Dzeko, despite the Bosnia international's agent recently saying he was almost certain to stay.

“If Jovetic and Dzeko were to move on, the departure of two non-homegrown players would enable them to go out and recruit foreign talent, and City are no longer under the stringent financial fair play restrictions that prevented substantial investment last year.

“Higuain is one option for City, with his future uncertain after Napoli failed to qualify for the Champions League next season, although the Italian club's president has said the Argentine will only be sold if a "crazy offer" is made.

“Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is also a long-term target for City, with the Frenchman being linked with a move away from the Bernabeu this summer following Rafa Benitez's arrival in the Spanish capital.”

It seems not a day can possibly go by without at least one of Paul Pogba or Raheem Sterling hitting the City-related headlines and today it is Pogba who is the name of choice for the Daily Express.

The paper’s Charles Perrin has thrown another twist into an already convoluted tale by claiming that Chelsea are now moving ahead of the midfielder’s other suitors and have held talks with his agent.

Writes Perrin: “The 22-year-old Juventus superstar has been the subject of frenzied transfer speculation so far this summer.

“Manchester United and Manchester City along with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have been courting the midfielder, who could fetch in excess of £71million.

“But according to Italian news outlet Tuttomercatoweb, the Blues have held a round of talks with Pogba's representative Mino Raiola.”

No signs of that particular story ending any time soon….

Here’s a new one though – Spanish newspaper Marca claim that City have entered the race for Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, who has been repeatedly linked with Manchester United in recent weeks.

Diego Pico reports: “The Nicolás Otamendi story is fast becoming a public auction, with some of Europe's biggest clubs certain in the knowledge that the player wants to leave Valencia. Manchester United have the advantage of being the first to make a move for the Argentine, although bagging their man won't be plain sailing. City are ready to enter the race, and they'll do everything they can to make sure the defender doesn't end up at their city rivals.

“Valencia and City are in regular contact these days. In fact, Valencia would need to pay the English club somewhere in the region of €30 million if they hope to make Alvaro Negredo's move permanent.”

Right, that’s it for transfer gossip today and do remember it is all just paper talk and no deals are ever done until confirmed right here on mcfc.co.uk.

As a special treat, we’ll finish off with some quotes about actual playing matters from someone who is definitely a City player – skipper Vincent Kompany.

Vincent Kompany

Already hard at work ahead of the new season, the Belgian has declared he’s ready to come back better than ever.

An exciting prospect for all Blues and less welcome for rivals!

The captain is quoted in the MEN as saying: “At the level at which I play, I don’t expect flowers when things aren’t going well.

“The day I win a prize and I have a good season, people will say I’m the best defender in the world.

 “When a forward dribbles past me, they’ll say I’m the worst defender in the world.

“The truth is that I can play football - don’t worry - and I’m coming back even stronger than before. I have to show it on the pitch. I don’t have a choice.

“That’s the challenge for me.

“Every day, I wake up in the morning motivated to go to work and ‘kill’ myself in training if necessary, because I know there are many things to come.”

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