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Gossip: Premier League duo on Man City radar?

MOVING TARGETS: Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk have both been linked with a move to City.

MOVING TARGETS: Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk have both been linked with a move to City.

We’re almost back in Premier League action and soon the column inches will be dominated with Manchester City team news, match reports and post-match reaction.

But we’re not quite there yet and so as the international break closes there are stories from the back pages linking the Blues with several players from across Europe.

We’ll start today’s media round-up with a familiar name, that of Virgil Van Dijk.

It’s a rumour that cropped up regularly in January but now the press are pouring cold water on the idea the Dutchman will move to Manchester.

The Mirror’s John Cross has the story, which suggests City have lost out to a fellow Premier League side.

“Chelsea believe they have beaten Manchester City in the £50million race to sign Virgil van Dijk,” writes Cross.

“The West London Blues are supremely confident they will get him ahead of City, Everton and Liverpool, who have all been in for the former Celtic centre-half.

Pep Guardiola's Mancunian Blues are desperate to strengthen their defence and Van Dijk has become the hottest property in the Premier League.”

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A rumour, then, that we’ll probably hear again and now onto another reported City target, who is equally as coveted.

Samuel Castillejo of Villarreal is on the Blues’ shopping list according to the Metro, who also link him with several other English teams.

“Arsenal are reportedly among a number of clubs, including rivals Manchester United and Manchester City, chasing the transfer of Villarreal winger Samuel Castillejo,” reads Mark Brus’ story.

“The 22-year-old wide-man has been in fine form in La Liga this season, contributing three goals and four assists in all competitions to get bigger clubs interested.

“According to Il Mattino, Arsenal, United and City are the three English clubs showing an interest in signing Castillejo this summer.”

Meanwhile, the much-talked about future of Alexis Sanchez has landed at City’s door with the Manchester Evening News making a case for the Chilean’s arrival at the Etihad.

James Robson writes: “Pep Guardiola is among Sanchez’ biggest admirers - and the 28-year-old is a consideration for Manchester City in a summer in which they will spend in the region of £200m to build a squad capable of providing a genuine challenge to Chelsea.

“The pair worked together at Barcelona, with Guardiola openly admitting he did not exploit Sanchez’ qualities to the fullest.

“Now at City there may be more room for a player whose natural talents were considerable enough for Guardiola to sign him from Udinese in 2011 at a cost of £30m.

“Arsene Wenger has unearthed his quality as a world class striker - capable of handling the rigours of English football - but it is his versatility that will appeal most to Guardiola.”

We end Friday’s media round-up there, but stay tuned to mancity.com throughout the day as we bring you the latest team news from the manager later today.

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