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Metro: Blues monitoring Thiago?

Given he's played for Pep Guardiola twice before, it’s perhaps inevitable that the media will link Thiago with a possible move to City.

The Metro are one of several newspapers to make the connection to a player the City boss clearly admires having had the Spaniard at Barca and Bayern.

The report reads: “Manchester City are interested in signing Bayern Munich star Thiago and will challenge Barcelona for his signature should they push to sign the Spanish international, Metro.co.uk understands.

“Pep Guardiola is keen on signing a box-to-box midfielder and the club have reopened their search after missing out to Chelsea for Napoli star Jorginho. Thiago, 27, played under Guardiola at Barcelona and was set to join Manchester United in 2013 before Guardiola intervened to sign him for Bayern.

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“However, the Spaniard has only managed to play 20+ league matches in two of his five seasons in Munich and reports in Germany claim Bayern are willing to sell Thiago to raise funds to reinvest in other areas of the squad.

“Thiago emerged from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and the La Liga giants are keen on re-signing the midfielder after allowing Paulinho to leave this summer. The ltaly-born midfielder is believed to be keen on returning to the Nou Camp, but City will challenge Barcelona for Thiago if Bayern do indeed decide to sell.

“Guardiola remains a huge fan of Thiago and Metro.co.uk understands he sent City scouts to assess the midfielder’s fitness over consecutive games towards the end of last season.”

Meanwhile, the City boss has praised Joe Hart’s professionalism since returning for pre-season.

The England keeper has spent the past two seasons out on loan but is back at the Club and on the US tour.

 

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The Telegraph write: “While so many stars are missing, Joe Hart, the former England goalkeeper, is set to come in from the cold and play against Dortmund at Soldier Field on Friday evening.

“Hart spent last season on-loan at West Ham and was thought to have no future at the Etihad after being jettisoned by Guardiola following his appointment two years ago.

“He last played for City in a Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest in August 2016 yet is set to get some surprise game time this summer.

‘Joe is our player. In his situation, he’s here and we will try to find a solution, which is best for him and if not, he’ll stay here.

‘He’s one of the most incredible professionals, I’ve ever met. He’s training like a young guy of 18 years old.

‘I know it is not easy for him what happened in the last period, but he’s with us and tomorrow he’s going to play. He is with us.’

 

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BT Sport have been assessing the new campaign and who are the likely title challengers – and they believe the Blues will once again be the team to beat.

They write: “After a year to settle in and mould the squad to better suit his vision, Guardiola had City playing a quick-moving, possession-based game that could tear opponents apart with quick breaks and incisive passing.

“Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva pulled the strings, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane added flair, Sergio Aguero was clinical, Fernandinho gave extra impetus and John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and ball-playing goalkeeper Ederson ensured everything kept ticking over. It was a formidable machine with further threats coming from Kyle Walker on the right.

“Yet there is no resting on laurels. In January, City broke their transfer record to sign Aymeric Laporte for £57million and since signing off last term they have pushed the figure out again, spending £60million to recruit Riyad Mahrez. The feeling is Laporte, as he settles into the English game, will give City even more drive from the back while Mahrez will bring even more attacking weaponry.

“The onus is very clearly on other teams to stop them. Last season, only Liverpool proved capable of beating City by taking them on at their own game. Most sides that attempted that were made to suffer and so many opponents opted to sit back and play cagily, hoping to stifle them and perhaps take the odd set-piece or counter-attack. Although United did catch them out in a remarkable derby at the Etihad Stadium, that also was a strategy that largely failed.

“With a young, hungry squad and Guardiola now getting his teeth into the project – a fact underlined by his recent contract extension – this City era could only just be beginning.

“Obviously other factors could come into play, such as injuries or possible post-World Cup fatigue, but rarely can a club have started a season in better shape than City this time. Rival managers eyeing their crown have their work cut out to stop them.”

Finally, back to the States and The Sun  previews our first game of the tour against Borussia Dortmund: “City broke their record transfer fee to secure the services of former Leicester City title-winner Mahrez for £60m

“The Algerian was tipped to join Man City in January, although no formal offer was submitted as the Foxes demanded £95m for a player who has scored 56 league goals across four seasons for the club.

“Abdou Diallo joins Lucien Favre's Borussia Dortmund side on a five-year deal after signing for £25million.

“Dortmund have also recruited former Werder Bremen midfielder Thomas Delaney and Frankfurt's Marius Wolf, whilst Real Madrid's Achraf Kakimi joins on loan.”

That’s all for today – we’ll be back tomorrow with how the world media assessed the Blues’ opening pre-season game…

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