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TEAMtalk: Foxes star close to City move?

Could City’s summer shopping start next week?

Team Talk believe so, with alleged long-time target Riyad Mahrez reportedly close to moving to the Etihad.

They report: “Mahrez is set to seal a £66m move from Leicester City to Manchester City, according to reports in his homeland.

“The Algerian winger has long been linked with an exit from the King Power stadium, having handed in transfer requests in the past two transfer windows

“Manchester City wanted Mahrez in January, but the Foxes refused to sell their star man. City are expected to come back in for Mahrez this summer, and this time a deal is more likely to be agreed.

“According to Le Buteur, Mahrez will sign for the current Premier League champions in a £66m deal.

“The Algerian source claims that the transfer could even be completed by the end of the week.”

 

RESPONSE: Kyle reacts to pundit's comments

 

Elsewhere, and with England in action tomorrow against Panama, Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph have both been speaking to reporters in Russia.

We’ll start with Walker, who was criticised by Rio Ferdinand during the 2-1 win over Tunisia.

Sportskeeda write: “England defender Kyle Walker feels playing on the right of a back three is developing him as a player despite Rio Ferdinand questioning him.

“Kyle Walker conceded he is still learning on the job as England's right-sided centre-back at the World Cup after coming in for criticism from Rio Ferdinand.

“An attacking full-back by trade, Walker has largely impressed since switching to the position for the Three Lions' March friendlies against Netherlands and Italy.

“But he gave away a penalty for Tunisia's equaliser in England's eventual 2-1 Group G win in Volgograd, with Ferdinand describing Walker's body positioning as ‘criminal’.

‘It's a new position for me, of course I'm still learning,’ the Manchester City defender told reporters.

‘I've got great people next to me and the gaffer [Gareth Southgate] as well, who's watching coaching me and making sure I know certain tips in key areas when I'm playing in that position.

‘He's entitled to his opinion. He wasn't playing the game, so that's it.

‘It's not that I've never felt uncomfortable about it. As I've said before, it's new tools to my toolbox that I feel will improve my game.

‘I don't get forward as much, which is a big part of my game. But I can use my pace in different areas to cover people.

‘As long as I'm on the pitch and England are doing well, I'm completely fine with it.’

Meanwhile Fabian Delph has admitted he was champing at the bit to come on against the Tunisians.

 

TEAM PLAYER: Fabian Delph

 

It looked as though the City star would get his chance, but Dele Alli’s determination to continue meant Delph didn’t get his opportunity – at least this time.

talkSPORT write: “Delph nearly took matters into his own hands in order to replace the injured Dele Alli against Tunisia.

“Alli is a doubt for England’s second group game against Panama due to a thigh injury picked up in the opener

“The Tottenham midfielder was clearly hobbling early-on in the game and Delph expected to take his place, but Alli continued until the 80th minute and was eventually replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

“Delph told talkSPORT: ‘I was about two-minutes away from running on the pitch and dragging him off!

‘I’ve known Danny Rose since I was 11-years old and he sneaked up behind me to give me a little pep-talk. We had a little moment.

‘But obviously I never went on, so that moment was useless.’

Finally, AFP have a nice piece on Gabriel Jesus’ meteoric rise from Brazil’s back streets to leading his nation’s attack in Russia.

 

HOMELAND: Gabriel Jesus adorns a mural in Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

Reflecting on his rise to fame, they write: “Just four years ago, the closest Gabriel Jesus got to the World Cup was painting the streets of his favela in Sao Paulo green and yellow. On Friday, his old neighbours turned out en masse to watch him star in Russia.

“Dressed in the national shirt, draped in Brazilian flags and wearing Gabriel Jesus masks, the residents of the tough Jardim Peri favela crammed into Bar da Gisele for the game against Costa Rica in Saint Petersburg.

“Even if all the talk was about Neymar, his old friends were fixated on the 21-year-old number nine.

‘Go Jesus, go Jesus!’ the bar owner, Gisele Xavier, said, just a few doors away from where the young star grew up.

‘It must so hard for him to hold his tears back,’ she added, watching Jesus waiting in the tunnel before the game, which would turn out to be an unexpectedly tough test before Costa Rica's defense finally crumbled and Brazil got the 2-0 result.”

Nice read. And that’s all for today…

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