Manchester City’s stunning comeback win over Burnley in the FA Cup has left the media purring once again – and there’s a new name in the frame for a January switch to the Etihad Stadium.
Let’s start with Saturday’s third-round victory. ESPN’s Jonathan Smith has praised the character City showed in coming from behind to beat Burnley 4-1 and says it’s another significant step towards a possible quadruple.
“Pep Guardiola insists talk of a quadruple is "not realistic" but Manchester City aren't going to give up on winning one of the four trophies without a fight,” he writes. “Not if the 4-1 FA Cup victory over Burnley is anything to go by.
“Trailing 1-0 at half-time to Sean Dyche's gritty and stubborn side that has conceded on average less than a goal a game in the Premier League, a showpiece FA Cup final next May seemed like the "illusion" Guardiola had described.
“But Guardiola's players simply cranked up the style and blew away the Clarets with an emphatic second-half performance. Sergio Aguero, who had ineffectively ambled through the first half, scored twice in 94 seconds; Leroy Sane added a sumptuous third and set up the fourth for Bernardo Silva, and with that Burnley's resilience was cracked.”
Goal’s Peter Staunton believes Guardiola’s transformation of City could well turn out to be his finest achievement so far.
Guardiola achieved huge success at Barcelona and Bayern Munich before taking over at the Etihad – but Staunton says the job he is doing here in England is perhaps even more significant.
“This was not a one-team league but he’s making it look like one - despite the presence of some of the world’s most talented coaches and some of the world’s richest clubs alongside him,” he writes.
“His football is so progressive and dominant and suffocating and the outcome of the season such a foregone conclusion that the most recent point of criticism has been the source of City’s money. Mourinho even had a pop at his yellow ribbon. For anything happening on the pitch, no one can lay a glove on him.
“This is a man who leaves an indelible stain wherever he goes. In 2010 Spain won the World Cup with six of Pep’s title-winning Barcelona players in their starting lineup for the final. One of his players got the winner. In 2014 Germany won the World Cup with six of Pep’s title-winning Bayern Munich players in their starting lineup for the final. One of his players got the winner.
“He is transforming the landscape wherever he lands.
“Come to England, we’ll see how good you are. They dared him and now they know.”
And, finally, the Sun’s Alan Nixon believes Leicester’s Harry Maguire has emerged as a City transfer target.
The centre-back only joined the Foxes from Hull City in the summer but Nixon believes he has played his way onto Pep's wishlist and would jump at the chance of joining City.
“Harry Maguire has played his way on to Pep Guardiola’s wanted list at Manchester City,” Nixon writes.
“Leicester’s classy centre-half could be on his way to the Etihad in this month’s window after emerging as a new option in City’s chase for another defender.
“Guardiola has been impressed by Maguire’s displays since joining from Hull for £17million in the summer and could offer around £50m for him.
“City’s chief even gave the England defender, 24, a hug in admiration after the Carabao Cup quarter-final last month, which Manchester City won 4-3 on penalties.
“Guardiola has been linked with West Brom skipper Jonny Evans, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and Lyon star Mouctar Diakhaby.
“He ideally wants a centre-half who is eligible to play in the Champions League, with City facing Basel in the last 16 next month.
“The Foxes will fight to keep him, but Maguire would jump at the chance of a move to the big time after his remarkable rise for club and country.”
That’s all for today’s media roundup but stay with us throughout the day here on mancity.com as we continue the reaction to Saturday’s FA Cup win.