Media Watch

Media: City in three-way battle for Juve star?

Media: City in three-way battle for Juve star?
With attention now turned from the FA Cup to the EFL Cup, today’s back pages are full of previews for Wednesday’s semi-final first leg at home to Burton Albion.

But, as ever, there’s room for transfer rumours, too, as speculation enters silly season.

Pep Guardiola may have repeatedly told the press he has no current transfer plans, but that doesn’t stop reports of incomings.

The latest: Pablo Dybala, Juventus’ 25-year-old forward who has scored 75 goals in 162 appearances for The Old Lady since joining in 2015.

According to Italian outlet Tuttosport, City, PSG and Bayern Munich are all keeping tabs on the Argentine.

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus in the summer has seen Dybala moved to a position on the right, and the report suggests he could be made available for transfer, which has alerted Europe’s top clubs.

READ: FA Cup | City learn fourth-round opponents 

READ: Clough | My dad would have loved Silva

Meanwhile, ahead of Wednesday’s game, Burton chairman Ben Robinson believes his side face a “damaged limitation” task when they visit the Etihad.

Robinson told Sky Sports: "When we saw the draw on Sky and there were four teams in the draw it started with No 1 Burton Albion. Then we looked down and we saw Chelsea, wow! Then we saw Manchester City, wow! Then we saw Tottenham, wow!

"It is very much a case of pinching ourselves and thinking it is another great occasion to look forward to.

"Manchester City are the current Premier League champions, it is over two legs so we will go there on Wednesday and we will enjoy the occasion but I think it is about damage limitation after seeing the demolition of Rotherham in the FA Cup on Sunday.”

Asked if he was daring to dream of an upset, Robinson replied: "In reality, no, because we would struggle to beat their third team," he added. "That's the thing with Manchester City, they're that good.”

And, finally, the Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan says he expects Guardiola to name a strong lineup for the game against Burton after his experiences against lower league sides last season.

Wigan Athletic, at the time in League One, knocked us out of the FA Cup, and Bristol City made us sweat in the EFL Cup semi-finals, which Brennan believes will be on Pep’s mind when Nigel Clough’s side visit.

“It will be tempting for Guardiola to go strong against Burton, with the intention of putting the tie beyond doubt for the second leg,” Brennan writes.

“Having four or five days’ rest before the Wolves game adds to that temptation.

“With Fernandinho, David Silva, Aguero and Bernardo Silva all well rested, Guardiola could include all of them – plus De Bruyne, who still needs games to reach full fitness – against Burton.

“The plan would be to put the tie beyond doubt and then rest key men in the second leg on January 23 – just three days after an away game at Huddersfield and ahead of an FA Cup fourth round tie.”

That’s all for today’s Media Watch – but stay with us throughout the day here on as we continue to bring you buildup to this week’s EFL Cup semi-final.

And if you want to be there, get your tickets for the game now!

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