Two tales of transfer gossip, a Premier League Asia Trophy preview, praise for a young loanee and fighting talk from Gabriel Jesus...
There's plenty of variety in today's round-up of City centric headlines.
Sports Mole: Manchester City hold Bruno Fernandes transfer talks
Paul Harper: “Premier League champions Manchester City have reportedly held talks with Sporting Lisbon about the potential signing of midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
“The 24-year-old Portugal international has been heavily linked with Manchester United over the summer, but their city rivals appear to be looking to beat them to his signature this summer.
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“Portuguese media outlet Correio da Manha reports that City have been holding talks with Sporting president Frederico Varandas over building a partnership between the two clubs to sign top young players from around the globe.
“The report goes on to suggest that City have used this opportunity to stake their claims to sign Fernandes, with a bid of around £40m from the Etihad Stadium having already been rejected.”
Caught Offside: Man City pull out of race to sign £36M target
Sam Wilkins: “Man United have been handed a small boost in their pursuit of Brazilian winger Everton, after it was reported that Man City have pulled out of the race to sign the player.
“Everton was one of the stars of Brazil’s Copa America side this summer, with the Gremio ace’s goals and performances helping the Selecao claim their ninth Copa America title.
“According to Globo Esporte, all of Man United, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund are all in the hunt for the Brazilian, who Gremio want around €40M (£36M) for.
“The report also states that Man City were also interested in Everton, however Pep Guardiola’s side have now exited the race for the forward, news that will be music to United, and the other clubs’, ears.”
Manchester Evening News: Man City and Pep Guardiola can get Premier League boost from shift in pre-season tour approach
Simon Bajkowski: “This summer, they will take on West Ham United and either Wolverhampton Wanderers or Newcastle United in the Premier League Asia Trophy before heading on to play Hong Kong side Kitchee SC and Japanese sister club Yokohama F Marinos.
“None are games to set the pulses racing for the moneymakers looking at blockbuster friendlies, yet they should prove useful to the manager as City look to improve again.
“All three are teams that Guardiola and his side have struggled against in recent years. They lost a significant game to Newcastle back in January after a few narrow victories over Rafael Benitez's side, Wolves were the first team last season to take points off them having also ran them close in the league cup the previous year while West Ham came closer than nearly every other Premier League side to taking points from the Etihad.
“Newcastle and Wolves between them were responsible for almost a third of all the points City dropped last season, and the Blues will face one of them in Shanghai after playing West Ham three days earlier.
“As is stands, the biggest challenges for the title are expected to come from Liverpool and Tottenham but one of Guardiola's longest ongoing struggles in the past two years has been to break through defences that are set out to stifle the Blues.
“With more time this summer to scrutinise some of the trickier opponents, City should be able to reap the benefits once the Premier League season returns - especially with a trip to West Ham on the opening day.”
Elliott Jackson and Aidan McCartney: “Leeds United defender Barry Douglas has challenged left-sided teammate Jack Harrison to kick on a level this season and show supporters his true ability.
“Harrison re-signed for United on a second season-long loan deal from Manchester City, having spent last campaign at Elland Road.
“The winger grabbed a first-half brace for Leeds during their opening pre-season friendly against York City, which ended 5-0 in their favour.
“After the match, Douglas, who himself endured a frustrating first season in West Yorkshire following multiple injuries, spoke about Harrison’s potential to be the difference for the Whites this season.”
From the players
Gabriel Jesus: "If I am criticized or praised, if they want me to evolve, I'll go through with it.
"It can happen to anyone and unfortunately, it happened to me. But I kept my cool and evolved. I always want to improve as a player and a person, and that is what happened.
"Unfortunately, I didn't score in the World Cup [in 2018] and in the middle of the Copa America people were talking.
“As I said previously, critics sometimes are not objective at all. I try to evolve from critics that allow me to do that. There will always be this kind of stuff, just like the compliments.”
(On pushing on with City): "I want to be involved and I want to help my teammates, respecting my manager [Pep Guardiola].
“But of course I'm hoping to get minutes. Last season I didn't play as much, but I expect and wish to play a little more, not to put pressure [on Guardiola], but on myself.
“Sometimes I don't play as much as I wanted because of me. I got to be strong and work hard. If I get the chance, I won't let it go."