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Gossip: Isco and Hazard linked again

City continue to be linked with high profile play-makers with Isco and Eden Hazard two of the names making the back pages this morning.

Isco has been rumoured to be on his way to the Etihad for the best part of five years, while Hazard is a name occasionally suggested in more recent times.

We have to remember this is the close season and the Blues will be linked with 100 players or more in the coming months – in reality Pep Guardiola has hinted he only wants a couple of additions to a squad that is arguably the best the Premier League has ever seen.

So, let’s start today’s round up with Soccer Souls who lead on the Hazard link: “According to reports, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is plotting a sensational £100m summer swoop for Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard.

“Hazard has two years left on his Blues contract but has refused to commit his future at Stamford Bridge amidst interest from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

“Manchester City are the latest club to enter the race to sign the Belgian as Guardiola has reportedly made the Chelsea ace his No.1 target this summer and is confident of luring him to the Etihad.”

 

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On to Isco who was an alleged target during Manuel Pellegrini’s reign, with The Express suggesting the Blues are monitoring the situation at the Bernabeu.

They write: “Real Madrid star Isco reportedly has offers from Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City to swap the Bernabeu for the Premier League this summer.

“Isco is under contract with Real Madrid until 2022 but reports suggest he is weighing up his future in the Spanish capital.

“Reports in his homeland have suggested the midfielder has been unhappy with a lack of playing time this season, despite firing Los Blancos to a fourth Champions League final in five years.

“And Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda claims the 26-year-old won’t be making any decision on his future until after the Champions League final on Saturday.

‘Isco is not happy with the current Real Madrid because he is not considered essential’” Inda said.

On to a relatively new name that was first mooted a couple of days ago, with The Guardian claiming City are keeping a close eye on Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt. It reads: “Guardiola is monitoring Ajax’s highly rated 18-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt as a potential long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany.

"De Ligt also played the whole of Netherlands' 1-0 defeat by England in Amsterdam in March and, in total, has made 34 appearances in all competitions this season. That follows last year’s debut campaign that featured 22 games, including an international debut in a World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria.

“De Ligt fits the profile of a young, technically astute defender who could slot into City’s playing style. The centre-back is experienced at the highest level, having started last May’s Europa League final defeat by Manchester United in Stockholm.

“It is understood that before deciding to firm up his interest in the player, Guardiola will assess how much game time De Ligt may get given he already has Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Kompany as front line centre-backs.”

Finally, as Tommy Fleetwood and Pep prepare for the Pro-Am event at Wentworth today, FourFourTwo carry a snippet about the influence the City boss is having on the in-form golfer.

 

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They write: “Tommy Fleetwood believes he can become a better golfer by playing with ‘inspiring’ Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

“The world number 12 teed it up with Guardiola last month and will again take to the course with the former Barcelona boss at Wednesday's Celebrity Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship.

“And while Guardiola might know more about football than golf, Fleetwood claims the Catalan's competitive character makes him an ideal playing partner.

‘He is a good character to be around,’ Fleetwood told a news conference. ‘He's quite an inspiring person, to be honest.

‘He's a successful person in his own right and I got on great with him. We stay in touch now and he's very competitive, so he'll be right up for it.

‘Being around people like that can only help you and make you better. Whether it's golf or a different sport, when you're hanging around people that are successful in that sport, it's only going to help you.’

That’s it for today – more of the same tomorrow.

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