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The Blues already have two of Europe’s most productive wide men in Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling, but Read Bundesliga (via Goal) believe Pep Guardiola has not intention of standing still during the summer.
The report reads:“It has been reported that Leon Bailey is a target for Manchester City, as Pep Guardiola wants to improve the Premier League champions next season, according to Goal.
“Bailey has been impressing since his arrival at Genk in 2015, and he got his move to Bayer Leverkusen in 2017 for an approximate £20m.
“He was also reportedly a target at the time for Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United.
“Guardiola is said to be looking at young talent for next season as he looks to build the Cityzens so they can compete both domestically and on the European stage.
“Bailey has been essential for Leverkusen in his first full season, scoring nine goals in 28 appearances.
“Die Werkself currently sit fifth place in the Bundesliga with two games to go, just a point off Hoffenheim occupying the last Champions League spot and six points off second placed Schalke 04.”
That’s the main transfer story this morning, but there’s plenty more of interest on the back pages and the web.
Sky Sports are already considering next season’s title defence and have highlighted how few recent champions have been able to muster a stoic response to be crowned champions.
They write: “Right from their opening weekend defeat at home to Burnley, Chelsea appeared off the pace under Antonio Conte. At least the Italian looks set to last the season. That is more than Claudio Ranieri managed at Leicester in the previous campaign and more too than Conte's predecessor at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho.
“Nine teams in a row have now failed to retain the trophy. Not since Gary Neville's Manchester United won it in back-to-back seasons between 2007 and 2009 has the feat been achieved - and United's last attempt at retaining their title saw them finish seventh. The good news for Manchester City is that there is no danger of Pep Guardiola being complacent.
‘That is why next season we are going to be focused on the Premier League in pre-season and in the first game,’ he said recently. ‘That is the lesson we have to take. The year after is always complicated. We have to know that can happen to us. What happened with Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester United can happen with us. That is why I have to be prepared.’
Sticking with the boss, The Mirror (and several north-eastern outlets) have this morning picked up on Pep’s revelation that he wanted to play for Newcastle United.
The main reason was his admiration for Sir Bobby Robson – the feature reveals his hopes, however, were dashed.
“Pep Guardiola has revealed he wanted to play for Newcastle — but was politely turned down by his former Barcelona boss Bobby Robson,” it reads.
“The Manchester City coach never played for an English club and his first -experience of the Premier League was after moving to the Etihad in 2016.
“But, in a new film on Robson, the Catalan said he had wanted to swap the Nou Camp for St James’ Park when the former England boss returned home in 1999, after his sacking in Spain.
“Guardiola said: ‘I am going to explain something secret.
‘After the purge in Barcelona, he went to Newcastle and I sent him a letter to offer me the chance to go to him and play at Newcastle. One of my dreams would have been to have played in England.
‘He answered me and said it was not possible because he had a lot of quality and he was right, but, even in that tough moment, he was always so kind.
‘He wrote a simple letter and it was like it meant so much more. Bobby is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.’
Moving Down Under and recognition today for three of Melbourne City’s brightest talents with the A-League equivalent of the PFA awards as the official website reports: “Melbourne City trio Luke Brattan, Bart Schenkeveld and Daniel Arzani have been named in the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) A-League Team of the Season.
“Brattan was the only player to be in the starting team out of the three, with Arzani and Schenkeveld being selected on the bench.
“Brattan’s outstanding season saw him come second in the FOX Sports Alex Tobin Medal and his peers have recognised his for his efforts, being selected in the player-voted team of the season.
“Arzani’s season speaks for itself, being voted the Young Footballer of the Year and dazzling with his sublime skills on the ball during his break-out season.
“City’s defensive Dutchman didn’t miss out on the accolades in 2017/18, picking up the Melbourne City Player of the Year in his first season at the Club.”
Finally, Nick Cushing’s side travel to Bristol this evening for a crucial league game and the hosts’ official website preview the clash: “Manchester City Women were 2-0 winners when the sides last met in the Conti-Cup quarter-final, in December, at the GFA.
“On a cold and wet day in Almondsbury, Manchester City Women just edged the contest, although, City Women had their fair share of chances throughout the game.
“The Vixens return to Bristol having secured all three points during their last outing away at Sunderland Ladies.
“Goals from Lauren Hemp and Millie Farrow gave Bristol City Women the victory, Sophie Baggaley made a string of excellent saves in the final 20 minutes to deny the Black Cats an equaliser.
“Manchester City Women were knocked out of the Champions League on Sunday, thanks to a goal from former right back Lucy Bronze, meaning Nick Cushing will now be firmly focused on retaining their WSL 1 title.”
Can we do it on a cold wet night in Almondsbury? Follow updates on mancity.com later to find out…
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