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Pep says Man City 'fear no club'

MAKING A PLAN: Pep plots City's path

MAKING A PLAN: Pep plots City's path

Pep Guardiola insists City fear nobody in the Champions League having secured a last 16 spot.

Though adding he feels there are teams stronger than the Blues at present, Pep feels confident his side can slug it out with the best if and when needed.

The Mirror report: “City could get the likes of holders Real Madrid, last season's beaten finalists Atletico Madrid, perennial Italian champions Juventus or French kings Paris Saint-Germain in the next round, meaning a potentially tougher task.

“But Guardiola said City will not be running scared if they get drawn against a Euro giant, insisting his team are ready to meet the challenge.

‘We know that in Europe every team you play can cause you problems,’ said Guardiola. ‘But we’re improving. We have to improve in Europe and I believe we can do that.

‘We’re through to the next round and that’s why I’m so happy. In the finals [knockout stages], all the teams will be really tough.

‘A team that is going to face Bayern Munich [who finished second in their group] is going to suffer. I’m glad that we’re not going to face Bayern Munich.’

And on Sky Sports the City boss said his team can now focus on domestic matters for the next few months, adding: ‘We have qualified with one game left and it's a big compliment for the team, for the whole stage,’ Guardiola said. ‘In general we made a good performance.

‘We have qualification in the pocket until February, so now we can focus finally on one competition, the Premier League, and we can be so satisfied.’

Elsewhere Nigerian website Punching believe Kelechi Iheanacho is being monitored by Barcelona.

SUPER EAGLE: Would City even consider selling Kelechi?

The popular youngster has found first team opportunities hard to come by so far this season and Punching write: “Barca are believed to be keeping a firm eye on rising Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho.

“According to reports, Barcelona, who missed out on signing Iheanacho for nothing after he helped Nigeria win the UAE 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, where he also won the Golden Ball, have decided to renew their interest in the 20-year-old following his performances for his Premier League club and the Super Eagles.

“The Spanish giants, who arguably boast the best attackers in world football in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, believe playing with the superstars in the same team could help Iheanacho fulfil his full potential.

“According to sportinastorm.com on Wednesday, Barcelona are encouraged to revive their interest in the attacker because they believe he could be unhappy at being pushed further down the pecking order at Etihad Stadium following the imminent arrival of the talented Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras. Sergio Aguero and Nolito are ahead of Iheanacho in the striking pecking order.

“Man City paid a fee of £27m for the 19-year-old Jesus, who has six caps for Brazil. The Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist will join the Citizens in January.

“And manager Pep Guardiola warned that Iheanacho’s chances of first team football this season could be limited.”

The Irish News carry a snippet on skipper Vincent Kompany whose injury torment continues. They write: “It is Kompany's 35th separate injury since joining City in 2008 and it is the third to have hampered him in this campaign alone: ‘For the next weeks he's injured,’ said Guardiola, speaking at a press conference in Dusseldorf to preview Wednesday's Champions League game at Borussia Monchengladbach.

‘Fortunately, it's not too bad in the head, because that is the most difficult thing, but in that action he had a little bit of a problem with the knee and the next weeks he will be out. He's sad. He's sad and upset. It's long time he doesn't play.’

Finally, the 4th Official claim City are preparing to lock horns with United for a promising Spain Under-21 full-back in January.

They report: “Benfica left back Alejandro Grimaldo Garcia, commonly known as Alex Grimaldo, is a player in demand with both the Manchester clubs vying for his signature according to the reports in the media. Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho both are looking to add to their defensive ranks particularly in the position of the left fullback and the 21-year old Spain U-21 player is someone who has interested both the managers.

“A very unfortunate knee injury in 2013 forced him to miss competitive football for nearly a year and on his return from the injury continued to play for Barcelona B compiling a total of 92 appearances for the club cashed in on him.

“Portuguese club Benfica snapped him up for a fee of €1.5m in the winter transfer window of last season and since then his form since has catapulted him back onto the wish list of various top European clubs and City are in pole position because he wants to play for Guardiola again.”



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is delighted his Manchester City side have safely made it through to the Champions League last 16.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola is delighted to see his side make it through to the Champions League last 16

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De Bruyne: Group stage progress was most important

ON THE BALL: Kevin De Bruyne breaks through Gladbach's midfield line

Kevin De Bruyne says he is delighted with the 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach that confirms City's passage into the last 16 of the Champions League.

City fell behind to Raffael’s drilled strike early in the first half but De Bruyne’s cross just before half-time was turned home by David Silva to ensure City will finish second in Group C.