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The Sun, Mirror and Daily Star all believe it is a possibility that the Blues will move for the versatile Jerome Boateng should he become available this summer with the German international rumoured to be looking for a fresh challenge.
The Sun report: “Pep Guardiola is on red alert over the Germany defender returning to the Etihad - but can expect stiff competition from his neighbours, plus Real Madrid and Barcelona
“Guardiola is a massive fan of the 29-year-old after working with him at the Allianz Arena.
“And the World Cup winner would strengthen Pep’s defence despite City running away with the Premier League.
“Pep will have a great chance of landing him after winning three Bundesliga titles with the defender between 2014 and 2016.
“He can also fill in at right-back but it is at centre-back where he has established himself as one of the finest defenders in Europe.
“Boateng left City in 2011 to boost his Germany chances with regular football at Bayern.
“Within three years he had won the World Cup by being part of his country’s triumph at Brazil.
“The Berlin-born star suffered injury hell two seasons ago with a thigh problem but has returned this season to play regularly – but sources close to the player expect him to move this summer.”
Elsewhere, BBC Sport report that Yaya’s international return is now not going to happen.
The Ivorian legend was due to make a return for The Elephants next week – but the BBC report: “Yaya Toure says he pulled out of the Ivory Coast squad for their forthcoming matches against Togo and Moldova due to family reasons.
“The Manchester City midfielder was due to return to the international fold after reversing the retirement decision he made after leading his country to the 2015 African Cup of Nations title.
“However, Toure, who has 102 caps, did not turn up as anticipated on Tuesday and has informed the Ivory Coast Federation he will not be linking up.
“Earlier this week the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) confirmed the return of Yaya Toure to the Elephants squad for this month's friendlies in France.
“Named in a 24-man squad for fixtures against Togo on 24 March and then Moldova three days later, FIF officials had said they were looking forward to his return after a three-year absence.”
Moving on and we’re going to have to get used to the ‘City don’t scare us’ stories that are cropping up left, right and centre from former Liverpool players.
Fair enough, but hopefully, the Blues will do their talking on the pitch - until then, expect more interviews such as John Aldridge’s on 101 Great Goals.
He says: ‘Possibly, it’s an advantage for them having the second leg at home but then again their ground doesn’t generate an atmosphere. (ouch!)
‘We have to make the first leg count. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some very special European nights at Anfield over the years where the place is rocking, and we have to add Man City to the list.
‘Some of their players will shake when they feel the atmosphere we create. They won’t have heard anything quite like it.
‘There’s no reason for us to fear City. I know we lost heavily in the league at their place but until the Sadio Mane red card there was very little between the teams.’
Hmm... Mr Aldridge may be surprised by the atmosphere if he attends the second leg at the Etihad.
Next up is the intro to Graham Hunter’s podcast with Paul Dickov.
Hunter writes: “It’s time for round two with Paul Dickov in the Big Interview. Finally, Manchester City fans, finally, you’re going to hear about Maine Road, the playoff final, Oasis and what Paul finds most thrilling of this version of City.
“If you’re not a Man City supporter, I think you’ll be interested in a glimpse of a point in that club’s history – not so long ago – when they were seconds away from another season in the third tier. If a certain Scottish striker doesn’t score, Gwyneth Paltrow never meets John Hannah and perhaps Pep Guardiola never finds Phil Foden, either.”
Rounding off, the Daily Mail report England Women boss Phil Neville was at the Academy Stadium as City opened a 2-0 first leg lead against Swedish champions Linkoping last night…
“Neville is currently reflecting on his early spell in charge after his side suffered final defeat to the USA in the SheBelieves Cup earlier this month.
“For City, they reached the semi-finals last season in their first participation in the Women's Champions League and will hope to do as well or better this time around.
“On Wednesday night, Linkoping were reduced to 10 men seven minutes before half-time when Liza Lantz received two yellow cards in quick succession and conceded a penalty.
“Parris scored the spot-kick and Ross scored a headed second 10 minutes into the second half as City, who also hit the woodwork twice, secured a victory ahead of the return at the Linkoping Arena.”
That’s all for today. More of the same tomorrow…
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