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De Bruyne backs injured skipper for World Cup

Kevin De Bruyne believes Vincent Kompany has a big part to play for Belgium in the World Cup, even if he misses the opening matches.

The City Player of the Season played in the Red Devils’ 3-0 win over Egypt last night while Kompany recovers from an injury sustained last week.

But regardless of if the Blues’ skipper can make the first games, De Bruyne believes he must travel to Russia.

“He will be fine,” said De Bruyne to Sky Sports. “Maybe not for the first few games. I don’t know how he’s going to react to the treatment or how quickly he will progress but hopefully he will be ready as soon as possible.

 

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“We don’t have to take any risks because we should be able to get through the group with the team we have but obviously he if he is fit to play it’s going to really help us.”

Elsewhere, both Sky Sports and ESPN believe City are keeping options open regarding any player recruitment this summer.

The Blues have been heavily linked with Napoli’s Jorginho. But Sky suggest other players are on the radar too.

They report: “Manchester City are considering moves for Southampton’s Mario Lemina or Real Madrid's Mateo Kovacic as potential alternatives to Jorginho, Sky Sports News understands.

“Sky sources have indicated City boss Pep Guardiola has identified other midfield options if a deal cannot be reached for the Napoli star, despite advanced talks still continuing.

“City denied making a second bid for Jorginho on Wednesday, with Sky in Italy reporting they had made a fresh offer that could total more than £50million.”

ESPN continue a similar thread: “City have lined up two alternatives to Jorginho should they fail to strike an agreement with Napoli, sources told ESPN FC.

“The English champions have already seen one bid for the midfielder rejected by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who is thought to be holding out for closer to £60 million amid interest from rival clubs.

“That could force City to look elsewhere rather than enter into a bidding war, with Pep Guardiola also keen on Real Madrid's Mateo Kovacic and Southampton's Mario Lemina.

“Both are seen as capable options in holding midfield, but City still would prefer to complete a move for Jorginho, who is desperate to move to Manchester.”

Lastly, with City fans still stunned Leroy Sane won’t be part of Germany’s squad at the World Cup, former Germany and Chelsea star Michael Ballack has labelled the decision “inexplicable”.

The London Evening Standard report: “Sane was the surprise member of a quartet of players trimmed from Low’s squad on Monday, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt preferred to the PFA Young Player of the Year.

 

THUMBS UP: Our new 2018/19 home kit gets the seal of approval from Leroy Sane.

 

“Low admitted that the race between Sane and Brandt had been decided by a ‘photo finis’” before suggesting that the latter’s performances in training and the Confederations Cup may have swung the issue.

“But Ballack, Germany’s star player at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, was far from convinced by Low's explanation.

‘Forget it,’ Ballack said. ‘I can’t explain that. For me there is no photo finish. I can’t see it.

‘There’s 23 players in the squad, to say you only see him in the position Julian Brandt is playing - you have to have a fantasy to believe that.

‘Brandt is a good, talented player. He made his improvements this year. But he didn’t play on the level that Leroy Sane played. Sane was at a bigger club, with bigger expectations, with better players.

‘Nothing against Julian Brandt, but I can’t explain why Low compared the two.’

That’s all for today and any official transfer news will always appear on mancity.com first, of course. More rumo

ur and gossip tomorrow…

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