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Man City midfield debate, plus striker linked

MEDIA FOCUS: Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure and Antoine Griezmann

MEDIA FOCUS: Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure and Antoine Griezmann

It’s the eve of Christmas Eve, but there’s no rest for the media as the build up continues to Boxing Day fixture against Hull.

There’s midfield tactics discussion, the inevitable transfer speculation, and a spot for two City players in the Guardian’s ‘top 100 world players’ of 2016 run down.

Let’s get straight to it and Simon Curtis, writing for ESPN, has taken a considered look at the impact Yaya Toure has had on City’s midfield.

He reflects: "The Ivorian powerhouse, basking in his newly re-acquired importance at the Etihad, is set to play a pivotal role over the coming weeks as Ilkay Gundogan sits and waits for his cruciate ligaments to mend. His sturdy re-entry into City's midfield, overseeing two consecutive wins against Watford (stutteringly) and Arsenal (magnificently) has served to remind onlookers of his worth to the City cause.

"The basis of a scruffy win over Watford and a barnstorming second half against Arsenal was Toure's careful shuffling in the middle of the park: the little circles to turn out of trouble, the twinkling feet, the sudden charges forward, the burst of energy to rasp a shot at goal. The whole array of skills was on show again.

"Alongside (and occasionally further behind) sat Fernando, another much maligned player among the smoke and glitter of City's A-listers. The ex-Porto midfielder has had few extended chances to shine in Manchester and is likely to have to share the work with player of the season Fernandinho when the wiry Brazilian returns from suspension at Hull this weekend.

"Fernando's shift against Arsenal should be highlighted, however. With Toure still prone to the occasional unannounced excursion upfield, Fernando's reliable tackling and jockeying of anything vaguely resembling an opposition midfielder meant City's creative men could take advantage of the Ivorian's support to pull a bewildered Arsenal defence all over the place."


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To a spot of transfer speculation now, and a few news outlets are carrying speculation over Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.

The Daily Express report: “Pep Guardiola is ready to rival Manchester United for Antoine Griezmann’s signature, according to reports.

“Griezmann is one of the hottest properties in Europe and has been linked with a mega-money summer move.

“Manchester United are said to see him as the heir to Wayne Rooney’s throne at Old Trafford.

“But, according to the Manchester Evening News, Guardiola is also interested in signing him at Manchester City.”

Back to the here and now, and Kevin De Bruyne has been speaking about how settled he is feeling in Manchester.

"I am feeling very well at Manchester City. We [De Bruyne and partner Michele] really like our life and have settled here," De Bruyne told Sport/Voetbalmagazine, via FourFourtwo.

"The past few years have been hectic and we want to embark on a long-term project now. We no longer want to move all the time. Not so much because I am 25 now, but mainly because everything is going very well here.

"Everything the club does for us is done very well. This is by no means the case at every club.

"Manchester is a great place and City are a great club.

"Manchester City might not have the same history that other teams have, but it is up to us to make history."

Finally, KDB features in 13th spot in the Guardian’s run down of the top 100 world footballers in 2016, just two behind Sergio Aguero.

Paul Doyle writes in his Sergio precis: "His movement is brilliant and so is his ability to work space rapidly for a precise, powerful shot. He had the best goals-per-game ratio in the Premier League this year again, and was the second highest scorer in the Copa América."

We'll have more same time, same place tomorrow and throughout the day on our City Now feed!

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