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Media Watch: City monitoring ‘the new Pirlo’?

WEDNESDAY ROUND-UP: There's a ton of transfer gossip to bring your way...

WEDNESDAY ROUND-UP: There's a ton of transfer gossip to bring your way...

If you’re a fan of transfer gossip, you’ve come to the right place!

Wednesday morning’s City-centric headlines are packed to the margins with tales of targets – those pages need filling during the international break! - so there is plenty to quench your Blue thirst.

Before we dive into the pool of potentials, let’s see what else has crept into view.

Well, the Manchester Evening News have taken the opportunity to pause and reflect on the Premier League Champions’ impressive start to the season and have analysed the potential records we could smash once again this season.

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Scribes Tyrone Marshall: “In 2017/18 the Blues became the first team in Premier League history to reach a century of points, while they also scored a competition record 106 goals in their 38 games.

“After 12 games of that season Pep Guardiola's side were sitting on a stunning return of 34 points. After a dozen games this season they are two points off that target, but by another metric they're actually four points better off than last season already.

“From these dozen fixtures they've already played this season City took just 28 points last term. Now they have 32. That could put Guardiola's side on for a scarcely credible 104 points if they can match last season's results game-for-game.

“Having already come through three of the six games they failed to win last season with improved results, City will look to better draws at Crystal Palace and Burnley and at home to Everton when those fixtures come around.

“Guardiola's side have already demonstrated their ability to blow teams away at the Etihad this season and their average of three goals a game after 12 fixtures would see them better the 106 they netted last season as well.”

Right, now for the transfer tales… let’s kick-off with talkSPORT’s claim that ‘City are among the clubs taking a closer look at Real Betis starlet Junior Firpo.’

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An article reads: “The exciting left-back has caught the eye regularly so far this season, not least during the club’s 4-3 win over Barcelona at the weekend, during which he scored.

“Betis managed to tie Firpo down to a new long-term deal in the summer and, crucially, those terms included a minimum fee release clause set £43.5million, according to AS.

“But that high figure has not put off either City or Arsenal, who are both said to be keeping close tabs on the defender’s progress in Spain.

“Torino are also interested in landing Firpo but it appears as though they are behind the two English clubs in the race to land him.

“And, should it come down to a battle between Arsenal and City, the Premier League champions might just have the advantage given the player’s agent is Pep Guardiola’s brother, Pere.”

Meanwhile, the same source also state the Blues have been ‘handed a boost’ in the alleged pursuit of Matthijs De Ligt.

Apparently: “City, Liverpool and Spurs have all been credited with an interest in luring De Ligt to England while Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are all hot on his heels, too.

“And now Ronald Koeman, the Netherlands manager, believes a move could be imminent.”

The former Everton and Southampton boss said: “It is obvious a player of the level of Matthijs will move into a higher league soon. I have talked about him a lot and the truth is he should be playing at a much higher level, he has the ability to make it to the very top in football."

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Koeman continued: “He made his debut in the Champions League group stage and then his next game was on a plastic pitch away against Excelsior. That is not something that is sustainable. Besides, the pace of the Eredivisie is not as high.”

Elsewhere, it’s also believed Pep Guardiola will head to Milan this weekend to monitor Sandro Tonali – branded ‘the new Andrea Pirlo.’

“La Gazzetta dello Sport report that a City scout was present on Sunday at Rigamonti Stadium to watch the 18-year-old midfielder score in Brescia’s 4-2 win over Verona in Serie B,” TeamTalk explain.

“Tonali thumped home from 30 yards after picking up a short free-kick and also made a fine assist in a performance that must have impressed watching scouts.

“So much so that Guardiola is expected to make a check on Tonali on Saturday in Italy’s game against Portugal or alternatively against USA in Genk next Tuesday.

“The playmaker was wanted by long-term admirer Maurizio Sarri a year ago when he was Napoli boss. And last month The Sun claimed Chelsea will make an offer of £20million in January to ward off interest from the Italian giants.

“Il Mattino reported recently that Brescia had informed Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis that it would cost €35m to sign Tonali.”

Finally, Times Live share the news that promising South African youth international goalkeeper Constandino ‘Costi’ Christodoulou is currently on trial at the City Football Academy.

Writes Mark Gleeson: “The 16-year-old Hilton College pupil‚ who trains with Maritzburg United‚ is the captain of SA’s under-17 team and played for them in the Cosafa Championship in Mauritius in July‚ where the side narrowly missed out on a place at the African U-17 Championship in Tanzania.

“Christodolou is the youngest player to have competed in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge league and is highly rated by Maritzburg coach Fadlu Davids.

“The teenager flew to Britain at the weekend‚ took in the derby clash between Manchester City and Manchester United on Sunday and on Monday began his trial at the club.

“City have flown him over for an extended two-week period‚ and completed all the legal documentation required by the Premier League for him to trial with them at their Academy‚ which is a strong signal of their intent.

“The English champions have been tracking the player since he first made his debut for Amajimbos when he was just 15 years-old.”

 

 

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