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City locked in transfer battle for Porto star?

MEDIA WATCH: All the latest news, views and transfer rumours

MEDIA WATCH: All the latest news, views and transfer rumours

Games are coming thick and fast over the festive period – but with the January transfer window just days away, there’s always time for some transfer speculation across the back pages.

And Manchester City, as ever, are never far away...despite Pep Guardiola repeatedly saying we aren't in the market for anyone!

A report on Transfer Market Web, picked up by the Express, says City and Liverpool are set to go head-to-head in a battler to land Porto’s Eder Militao.

The 20-year-old can operate in numerous positions, including right-back and defensive midfield.

"Transfer Market Web claim Liverpool and City have now joined the list of elite clubs keeping tabs on Porto’s Militao," writes James Benson. 

"And that will come as a serious blow to United, who are said to maintain an interest in the 20-year-old despite the departure of Jose Mourinho.

"Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha reported on Wednesday that United were in a strong position to land Militao.

"And that’s because his release clause remains a modest £45.2m (€50m) as he rejects Porto’s attempts to get him to sign a new deal.

"However, Liverpool and City’s superiority over rivals Manchester United could mean he snubs a move to Old Trafford for Anfield or the Etihad.

"Liverpool and Manchester City are not alone in lining up Militao with less than a week to go before players can be signed again."

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Over on ESPN, Michael Cox, a writer famed for his tactical know-how, has written about City’s recent struggles.

He offers five areas for improvement, one of which is finding additional defensive-midfield options.

“The fact that Fernandinho was forced to get through more work was, in itself, problematic,” he writes. “But the Brazilian is a truly exceptional all-around midfielder and has converted himself into the ideal player for this side. Naturally a technical box-to-box player, he is now excellent in a positional sense and capable of sweeping up behind his two midfield colleagues.

“Without him, though, Manchester City don't have a capable deputy. John Stones was used as the defensive midfielder against Crystal Palace but doesn't seem happy receiving the ball in tight positions; City's passing suffered as a consequence.”

That’s all for this morning’s roundup. But stay with us throughout the day here on mancity.com as we begin the build up to Sunday’s game at Southampton.

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