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Gossip: Midfielder move gathers pace

Media Watch: Riyad Mahrez is linked with a move to the Etihad.

Media Watch: Riyad Mahrez is linked with a move to the Etihad.

Sunday’s back pages are filled with speculation surrounding Riyad Mahrez, while there is plenty of insight and analysis from the Blue contingent in England’s World Cup squad.

The Mirror report that Leicester winger Mahrez could be edging closer to a move to the Etihad, with the finer details of a transfer reportedly being straightened out.

“Riyad Mahrez is close to finally landing a dream switch to Premier League champions Manchester City,” reports James Nursery.

“Mahrez went AWOL from Leicester in January after the Foxes rejected multiple bids from City and demanded £80million.

“But 2016 champions Leicester are now prepared to let him go after talking him back into the fold in February for the rest of the season. Algerian ace Mahrez, 27, has 39 goals and 27 assists in 139 top-flight games for the Foxes.

“MirrorSport understands a breakthrough is close to take Mahrez to the Etihad on his return from holiday with City just finalising his agent’s fees.”

The Mirror also report that Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri could be a midfield option that fits Pep Guardiola’s bill.

“Manchester City may be forced to switch their attentions to Ivory Coast midfielder Jean Michael Seri with Napoli refusing to budge on their £60million valuation of Jorginho,” reports Simon Mullock.

“Seri, who currently plies his trade with in France with Nice, is available for £36million and Pep Guardiola is now seriously considering the 26-year-old as a cheaper alternative to Jorginho.

“Arsenal and West Ham are also interested in Seri, but the Premier League champions would move into pole position if they firmed up their interest with a bid.”

Of course, the first place you'll hear any confirmed transfers is right here on ManCity.com.

Meanwhile, the Manchester Evening News carry quotes from Fabian Delph who has been full of praise for compatriot and City teammate Raheem Sterling.

“I think you’ve seen a guy who has stood up and made himself available in the big games,” Delph said.

“In terms of being dedicated, he’s one of the most dedicated footballers I’ve come across. His work ethic is fantastic, his desire to improve is there and he’s still only 23.

“It’s scary to think what his potential could be and I’m constantly on his case to do better as an older player should be.

“I think this World Cup is a massive stage for him to go and showcase what he can do.”

T'YORKSHIRE CHALLENGE: Delph vs. Walker.

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T'Yorkshire Challenge: Fabian Delph vs Kyle Walker

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Elsewhere in the England camp, John Stones and Kyle Walker have told the Guardian how they view their respective roles in a three-man defence for the Three Lions.

“The amount of top teams that we’ve stopped from scoring speaks for itself,” Stones said.

“Maybe people need to do a bit more research and stop judging us too much. The teams that win things have the best clean sheets record and concede the fewest goals and that’s a target for us.

“I want to take that into the tournament.”

Walker has featured alongside Stones as a centre-back in recent England fixtures, and the Premier League winner is confident that Gareth Southgate’s 3-3-2-2 formation will prove successful in Russia.

“It gives us security at the back,” Walker said.

“I don’t think we’re going to leak too many goals, touch wood. We need to support the midfield, trust in the forwards to get us the goals and defend and attack as a unit.

“We’re dangerous on the break. We have pace to burn.”

That’s it for today – we’ll have more City gossip for you tomorrow.

 

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