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Media: "City the best in every department"

EXCEPTIONAL: Gary Neville is full of praise for City this season

EXCEPTIONAL: Gary Neville is full of praise for City this season

As Manchester City gear up for this weekend’s FA Cup tie with Burnley at the Etihad, the media continue to praise the style of football being played by Pep Guardiola’s squad.

And there’s also some transfer gossip, too, as City are once again linked with January recruits. 

Let’s begin, then, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville’s assessment of City’s season so far.

The former Manchester United and England defender, speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, has described City’s performance level as “exceptional” and believes we are “the best in every single department” in the Premier League.

"Exceptional,” he said of City's form. “They nearly lost their unbeaten record at Crystal Palace but they hung onto it. You're going to have moments like that - those scrapes, near-misses - but they've been exceptional.

"I was at the Newcastle game on December 27th - it was a tough one for them because Newcastle sat deep and though they should have been three or four up at half-time, it was a very professional performance. The football's wonderful - they're just the best in every single department.

"To be at the top at Christmas by that many points but to do it in the style they have... I questioned it, I said it had never been done before in terms of winning the Premier League in that kind of style. You look at Chelsea's team or Manchester United, which has power through the spine - that has ordinarily won the Premier League. This season City do have some power through the spine but not what you would call the natural way with two big centre-backs, the holding midfield player, the powerful striker.

"They're doing it in a wonderful way - the Pep Guardiola way - and it looks like the league is gone already. That's disappointing - not just because I'm a Man United fan - but in any season, any team would be behind this one.”

It’s well worth a listen.

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Moving on, and according to Simon Jones and Glen Williams writing in the Mail, City have four January transfer targets.

They say Guardiola will make a bid for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez – and believe the Blues tactician also wants a defender, with Inigo Martinez, Jonny Evans and Samuel Umtiti all being monitored.

“Manchester City will make a decision over next few days whether to bid for Alexis Sanchez as Pep Guardiola eyes four new signings this month,” they write.

“City are likely to test the water with a £25million bid but could bid as much as £35m, with Sanchez's contract at Arsenal set to run out in six months' time.

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“Guardiola will be more keen than ever to bolster his squad mid-season following Gabriel Jesus damaging his knee ligaments in the draw with Crystal Palace last Sunday.

“The Premier League leaders have also made contact with Real Sociedad about the prospect of signing Inigo Martinez, who has a £28m release clause at the La Liga club.

“Martinez is one of three defenders Guardiola has on his radar this month and he may look to revisit the option of signing Jonny Evans.

“The West Brom centre back, however, is likely to cost more than Martinez, but is known to be admired by the City boss.

“Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti, meanwhile, will set the Etihad club back almost £45m if he is to be prised away from the Nou Camp in this window.”

That’s all for this morning’s media roundup. Stay with us throughout the day aswe bring you all the buildup to this weekend’s FA Cup tie with Burnley. 

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The rumour mill is in overdrive this morning with the City-centric headlines packed with transfer gossip.

We’re four days into January and with the transfer window open, tales of potential arrivals and departures are swirling around.

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