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Media Watch

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Media: Deal for defender edges closer?

TRANSFER TALK: Today's media roundup includes more talk of Aymeric Laporte

TRANSFER TALK: Today's media roundup includes more talk of Aymeric Laporte

Manchester City are in FA Cup action later today as we travel to Cardiff for a fourth-round tie.

And there’s been plenty of City talk in this morning’s papers, including more transfer gossip. 

But let's start today's media roundup with Noel Gallagher, who has been talking all-things City on this weeks’ edition of Soccer AM.

Asked what it’s like to be a City fan this season, he said: "It's all good. I was saying before the show that we are waiting for the blip but it's not happened yet. It's a joy to watch at the moment."

And asked whether he thinks City can win the Champions League this season, he said: "I hope it is next year as I have a gig on the same night as [this year's] final. Somehow someone has wangled that I'm on stage when the final is on. I've been trying to get out of the gig."

As ever, it's well worth listening to what Noel has to say.

Moving on, then, to today's FA Cup fourth round tie as we continue our assault on all four competitions. 

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has been discussing the FA Cup’s tendency to throw up shock results.

READ: Cardiff v City | Talking Points 

READ:David Silva a special talent, says Pep

Warnock was in charge of Notts County when they beat Peter Reid’s Manchester City side back in 1991, and in 2011 his QPR team defeated Chelsea 1-0 in an another unexpected result.

However, despite his history of producing Cup upsets, he acknowledged City’s current status as one of the “best teams in the world,” suggesting his side will have their work cut out come 4pm on Sunday.

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“Things happen, they really do,” Warnock said.

“At QPR, we were playing Chelsea [in 2011] and nobody gave us a prayer. They had two sent off, lost their rag and we won 1-0. And I remember in 1991 in the Cup, when I was at Notts County and Peter Reid brought Man City to Meadow Lane.

“The snow was about six feet high and our fans had cleared the pitch. Reidy wanted it off, but I convinced the ref to play – ‘come on, it’ll be fine and we don’t need one of them orange balls’. They hit the post 10 times, the bar 10 times and we won 1-0. That was probably my biggest scalp in the Cup as they were in the top flight and we were in the second division.

“Of course, this would trump that. But then, this Man City are the flaming best team in the world.”

CUP FEVER: The City squad were out on the training field earlier today preparing for Sunday's FA Cup game

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And, finally, talk of City signing Aymeric Laporte is gathering pace.

A number of major outlets believe a deal is getting closer – with the Guardian suggesting City could complete the signing of the Frenchman early next week.

Mark Dobson and Fabrizio Romano write: "Manchester City have agreed a £57m deal for Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte, with the defender set to arrive next week.

"The 23-year-old is expected to sign a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium after City met the centre-half’s release clause and he will travel to Manchester early next week for a medical. Laporte was removed from the Bilbao side that drew 1-1 with Eibar on Friday night, fuelling speculation that a deal was done.

"After missing out on Virgil van Dijk and Alexis Sánchez in this transfer window so far the City head coach, Pep Guardiola, will welcome the defensive reinforcements with persistent injury doubts over Vincent Kompany.

"Laporte, who has yet to win a full cap for France but has made almost 200 appearances for Bilbao since making his debut in 2012, is also predominantly left-footed and has been earmarked as a long-term partner in central defence for John Stones while also being able to fill in at left-back."

That’s all for this morning’s media roundup. Stay with us throughout the day as we continue to build up to this afternoon’s FA Cup fourth round game at Cardiff.

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