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There’s plenty to ponder over in today’s City-centric headlines.
Let’s kick-off with last night’s action with four Blues in action for their national teams – and they all produced solid displays with Kyle Walker the highlight, claiming an assist.
As the Manchester Evening News’ Dan O’Toole explains: “It was a positive evening for Manchester City's internationals last night as England beat Switzerland and Belgium eased past Iceland.
“The 28-year-old has not played a minute for Pep Guardiola this season but Delph got 68 minutes under his belt at the King Power Stadium.
“Walker, who was recalled to the side after missing out on a berth in England's three-man defence against Spain, provided the assist for Marcus Rashford's goal against Switzerland while Stones was a second-half substitute.
“Vincent Kompany played 90 minutes as Belgium beat Iceland 3-0 in the UEFA Nations League. It came on the back on a 45-minute showing against Scotland with the City captain in fine fettle ahead of the return of Premier League action with the visit of Fulham on Saturday.”
Keeping with the international theme, England legend Paul Gascoigne has shared his thoughts on the future of English football, tipping City starlet Phil Foden (amongst others) to become ‘world-class’.
Quoted in the Sun, the former Three Lions man declared: “All these young players: Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard. James Maddison, Phil Foden… every one of them can be a world-class player.
“But it’s up to them. They have to go out and show people. Play with a smile.”
On an equally positive note, Huddersfield forward Isaac Mbenza has described the awe he felt watching City when the Terriers visited the Etihad Stadium.
His comments are carried by Sport Witness, as he reflected: “I’ve played some big teams like PSG, Marseille, Monaco but City – seeing them really, really close up – it’s no surprise they’re at this level.
“You understand why they’re there – they’re the best. You can see it on the pitch.
“If they miss a chance, it’s not: ‘It doesn’t matter.' They really beat themselves up when they miss a pass because they know they shouldn’t be missing it but they still stay calm.
“It’s collective. A team with touch-pass, touch-pass – it’s Guardiola. Basically, it’s the right pass at the right time that triggers everything: a pass opens many doors.
“You wonder how they do it. From the bench, I was watching. I was focused on the game but they were pulling off passes that I never saw coming.”
Switching to the transfer gossip, it’s claimed City are set to go head-to-head with Juventus in a bid to capture Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard.
According to Luke Osman of Read Bundesliga: “It’s reported by TMW (Tutto Mercato Web) that the Citizens have apparently joined the long list of clubs who are keen to explore the possibility of landing Pavard, who enjoyed a tremendous World Cup campaign with France.
“The defender operated at right-back for the majority of the tournament and impressed as he helped his France side lift the World Cup trophy.
“Since the impressive campaign, Pavard has attracted plenty of interest, with Bayern Munich having been linked heavily with a move to sign the defender.
“However, according to new reports, the Bundesliga champions could face competition in their pursuit of Pavard.
“Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly an admirer of the versatile Frenchman, whilst Juventus would also be keen to recruit the player in the near future.
“Pavard recently reiterated his commitment to the cause at Stuttgart but the prospect of a move to a top European club is sure to be tempting after such a strong campaign last term.”
Finally, Caught Offside believe City face competition from neighbours United in the alleged race to sign Douglas Costa.
Writes Ron Carne: “The 27-year-old spent last season on loan with the Turin giants, scoring six goals and providing 14 assists in 47 appearances in all competitions as he played a key role for Massimiliano Allegri’s side in extending their domestic dominance.
“After making his switch to Italy a permanent one this past summer, it seems as though he will continue to feature prominently for Juve having appeared in all three games so far this season.
“However, according to Sportmediaset, both City and United could explore the possibility of signing him next year as they’re both being linked with having an interest in the Brazilian international, while it’s even suggested that the Red Devils could ask for him to be included in a potential swap deal for Paul Pogba.”
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