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Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez feature prominently in this morning’s round-up, along with the thoughts of Leicester boss Claude Puel and the obligatory Isco transfer rumour.
Let’s kick off with Alam Khan’s interview with Raheem Sterling in Sport 360, with the City winger talking about his development under Pep Guardiola, personal targets and the mentality needed to get to the top.
Says Sterling: “’I feel I’ve got a long way to go to be the complete player. I feel I will be a complete player when I win the Premier League again, the Champions League and everything else.
‘That’s the level you have got to get to when you are playing at the highest level. Just scoring goals ain’t enough, it’s about scoring goals to win the biggest competitions.
‘The Champions League is one for sure. It’s still early in the season, but if we want to be among the best teams in the world, these are the things you have to do and win, compete on those aspects.
‘Everything is set up perfectly here to win things. You have got one of the best [training] facilities in the world, best managers in the world and great players around you. So, what more do you need than that?
‘It’s probably the trust the manager has put in me and the belief,’ said Sterling on his improvement and impact, including 23 goals in the last campaign to help City claim the league title in record-breaking fashion.
‘I am coming to the age now where I’m becoming a man now, maturing, so little things don’t get me down like they did when I was 19, 20.
“Every season I come in and I want to better what I have done the season before.”
Over at Sky Sports, Riyad Mahrez is featured ahead of our trip to face Leicester on his old stomping ground this afternoon.
It reads: “Mahrez is confident his form will improve during the second half of the Premier League season as he continues to adapt to life at Manchester City.
“The Algerian winger joined the champions from Leicester in a £60m transfer last summer and has had to adapt to the demands of Pep Guardiola's system.
“Mahrez has also had to adjust to fighting for his place in the starting line-up, with eight of his 17 Premier League appearances coming from the bench.
‘When you arrive the first six months it's always difficult to adapt to everything,’ said Mahrez.
‘I'm very good. I'm still new to the team. I think more months are going to pass and I'm going to be better."
“Despite his expectation of improvement, Mahrez has made a significant contribution as City have maintained their free-scoring form.
“The 27-year-old has scored five of City's 50 league goals and also found the net in the Champions League as Guardiola's side comfortably advanced to the knockout stages.
“City's impressive form has only been outshone by Liverpool, who have gone unbeaten in their opening 18 games to establish a four-point lead at the top.
‘It's massive because you have to win now, every time,’ Mahrez said.
‘You don't have any chance to drop points because when you drop points, the opponent wins and now they're in front of us, for example Liverpool.’
Meanwhile, The Leicester Mercury feature Foxes boss Claude Puel’s pre-match thoughts, with the Frenchman underlining the importance of having a fit-again Jamie Vardy.
Said Puel: ‘It's important to manage our player. We have a busy period to prepare and we have to take some decisions.
‘His groin is fine, and he could face Manchester City. We will listen to the information.
‘Of course, we take confidence from Chelsea. We will see if we can play well again four days after facing a good team.
‘It's a fantastic challenge and we'll see if we can create another upset.
‘We will play Manchester City after a loss, it will be tough. They can rotate any position in their team and it's the same play, same ability.
‘I think and hope it will be a similar game. We played well. The second half was very good. We had character and quality.
‘We need to have the same values and principles.’
Finally, despite Pep Guardiola insisting several times in recent press conferences that City won’t be doing any business in the January transfer window – now less than a week away – it won’t stop production at the rumour mill.
Sports Witness claim City are not only interested in Real Madrid’s Isco, they suggest (via international journalists), the Blues are leading the chase.
It reads: “Under Santiago Solari’s guidance, Isco has made only one start in all competitions for Real Madrid.
“After this latest situation, Manchester City were believed to be one of the clubs interested in the 26-year-old.
“On December 18th, AS reported that Pep Guardiola has identified the attacking midfielder as a priority target for the Premier League winners.
“Italian website Calciomercato now claims Juventus are also looking at Los Blancos star, who has lost his importance with the FIFA Club World Cup winners.
“The Old Lady’s manager, Massimiliano Allegri has been chasing Isco for the past few years, while their sporting director Fabio Paratici has long been after the player.
“While discussing the Turin club’s interest in him, journalist Fabrizio Romano mentions the Premier League side have already moved for Isco and Manchester City feel that they are leading the race for his signature.”
That’s it for today – enjoy coverage of the Blues this afternoon on our Match Day Centre.
We hear from the boss ahead of the Boxing Day clash at Leicester City
Injury latest ahead of our trip to Leicester