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Gossip: City switch focus to Griezmann?

City's decision to withdraw from the race to sign Alexis Sanchez could open the door for a spectacular swoop for Antoine Griezmann according to the Metro.

The France international would come at a price, but the report suggests the Blues would be willing to meet the release clause placed on the Atleti striker's head.

Write the Metro: "Pep Guardiola will consider a move for Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann after being promised by Manchester City’s hierarchy that he will be able to sign an alternative to Alexis Sanchez, according to reports.

"The Premier League leaders have pulled out of the race to sign the Chilean after Manchester United indicated that they were willing to meet Arsenal’s £35million valuation.

"Jose Mourinho’s side are also ready to make Sanchez the highest-paid player in the Premier League with a deal worth £400,000 a week. City are unwilling to meet Sanchez’s new demands and took the decision on Monday to pursue alternative targets.

"According to the Manchester Evening News, City chiefs have assured Guardiola that he will be given funds to sign a world-class striker in the summer transfer window. And the report claims that Griezmann is a player who is ‘admired’ by Pep.


PEP: Interested in Atleti star?


"The France international was wanted by Manchester United in the summer but he ended up rejecting a move to Old Trafford due to Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban. Griezmann was wanted by Manchester United last summer.

"Griezmann has a €100m (£89m) release clause and is expected to leave Atletico at the end of the season. Barcelona have also expressed an interest in signing the 26-year-old and reports claim that the La Liga leaders are working towards a summer deal."

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The Blues are also again linked with another La Liga''s talent this morning.

Inigo Martinez has been mentioned as a possible target several times and Caught Offside believe a move for the defender could be brought forward following recent events.

They report: "City could have their sights set on pursuing Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez, after the club pulled out of the running for Arsenal and Chile star Alexis Sanchez.

"This is according to the Manchester Evening News (again!), who report that the Premier League table toppers have left the running to sign Sanchez, and that the club could now move for Martinez.

"The news outlet are also stating that the 26-year-old would cost the club £28m,and that they could move for the player following their failure to sign Sanchez, as by signing both, it would’ve meant that one wouldn’t have been able to be registered in the club’s Champions League squad.


REAL DEAL? Inigo Martinez


"Since coming through the club’s youth system, Martinez has seem himself cement a place in Sociedad’s side due to his capability of putting in solid performances.

"During his time with the first team, Martinez has been able to make 238 appearances, with the player scoring 17 and assisted seven in that time.

"Martinez’s physical presence and ability on the ball has seen some label the player as one of the most underrated and able players in La Liga

Away from transfer speculation and Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock is looking forward to hosting the Blues after his side beat Mansfield Town last night to secure an FA Cup 4th round tie.

City will travel to South Wales at the end of the month and veteran boss Warnock can't wait to lock horns with Pep Guardiola for the first time in his managerial career.

Speaking to the official Cardiff City website, Warnock said: 'It’s a great draw for us,.

'But let’s concentrate on the biggest game of the season before that - Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday!

'They’re [Manchester City] probably the best side in the world at the moment if we’re being honest. It’s nice for the fans and the Club to get this reward and I’m pleased for Vincent too as he’ll be delighted.

'Man City will have to be up for it, won't they? We will have a great crowd - I would be disappointed if it wasn't a full house.

'It’ll be a great occasion at a packed Cardiff City Stadium - and you’ve got to beat these sort of teams [like Manchester City] if you want to win the Cup!'

And Pep was at Field Mill to witness the Bluebirds' 4-1 win - much to the delight of the Stags' CEO...

The Mirror write: "City boss Pep Guardiola took in Mansfield vs Cardiff on Tuesday evening as the Spaniard visited Field Mill on a scouting mission.

"The former Barcelona manager donned a Peaky Blinders-style flat cap as he posed for a picture alongside Mansfield CEO Carolyn Radford.


"She shared the snap on Twitter, posting: 'We have a legend in the house!!'

"Mansfield and Cardiff were battling to take on Pep's Man City side in the fourth round, and it was the Bluebirds that navigated their way through."

More gossip and rumours on the Blues tomorrow...

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