Welcome to a new week and the proper start of pre-season with many of City’s first-team squad returning to training today after the summer break.
Fittingly, to mark the advent of the build-up to the new campaign there’s a fresh look to Media Watch – and much to get our teeth into with plenty of transfer gossip and opinion.
So without further ado let’s kick-off and dive into Monday’s headlines…
We start with the long-running summer saga of City’s rumoured interest in Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo. And according to the Star, there has been another twist in the tale.
The Star’s Callum Vurley alleges: “Juventus full-back Cancelo has become the club’s top target after Maurizio Sarri told him he was not part of his plans.
“But according to Gerard Romano, Barcelona are looking to gatecrash the deal with super-agent Jorge Mendes’ help.
WATCH: Getting to Know | Rodri
“The Portuguese moneyman deals with many clients from his home country and also has strong ties with Barca. Another of his compatriots under his clientele is Los Cules right-back Nelson Semedo.
“Atletico Madrid are demanding the defender as part of the Antoine Griezmann deal but the Nou Camp outfit are not keen.
“Mendes is attempting to convince Barca to take the deal and use Cancelo as a replacement.
“It would come as a big blow to City, who have made the 25-year-old their top target.”
Last week was an especially busy one for City with the arrival of both Rodri and Angelino but the Sun’s Phil Thomas says that despite the Spaniard’s signing, Brazilian veteran Fernandinho could be set for a new contract.
“The Brazilian veteran is in the final year of his contract and many expected next season to be his last at Manchester City after the club-record arrival of Rodri from Atletico Madrid.
“Yet City sources insist Guardiola feels the 34-year-old still has plenty to offer, especially as he is able to fill in at centre-back.
“And there is a growing belief Fernandinho, currently on Copa America duty with Brazil, will be offered a 12-month extension
“The holding midfielder will miss the start of the campaign as his international commitments will mean a late return to pre-season training.”
The Manchester Evening News’s Tyrone Marshall meanwhile has penned an opinion piece on how he believes the 2019/20 campaign could see Phil Foden’s exciting development at City take another major step forward with David Silva acting as the teenager’s mentor.
WATCH: Best of Ederson | 2018 19
Marshall scribes: “Foden has been taking advice from Silva for a couple of years now and for all the discussion about exactly how much game time he gets, the fact he can learn from some of the world's finest midfielders day in and day out has had a significant impact on his game.
“Last season bought more game time for Foden still. He only turned 19 in May but towards the end of the campaign he started his first two Premier League games. Many more will follow this season.
“But now he will be playing with a little added pressure over the next 12 months. Having been anointed as Silva's successor, Foden has to prove he is ready for that level of responsibility and first team involvement.
“He has been handled brilliantly so far by Guardiola, eased gently into the side while all the time learning about the game on the pristine pitches of the Etihad Campus.
Now the responsibility falls on to Foden's shoulders.
“He knows what an opportunity this is. The England Under-21 international has long been earmarked as the next Silva, with the Spaniard's departure the moment his presence would really begin to be felt.”
Meanwhile soccersouls.com run an opinion piece on how they believe City’s acquisition of Rodri is a major statement of intent.
They scribe: “Rodri is a defensive midfielder tailor-made to achieve success in any top European league and the fans can certainly expect him to fit into Fernandinho’s shoes brilliantly. A technically-gifted midfield enforcer, the 23-year-old’s style of play has been likened to Barcelona star Sergio Busquets.
“Standing at 6ft. 3 inches with a towering frame, Rodri is quite quick and agile for a player of his stature, and that, coupled with his positional sense and tactical intelligence allows him to deal effectively with the transitions in play.
“As well as his impressive range of passing and ability to dictate the tempo of the game with a sense of authority, the 23-year-old is also a very good tackler and succeeds in breaking up the play with effortless ease more often than not.
“Going by statistics, it is easy to see why Man City have, indeed, struck gold with the signing of Rodrigo Hernandez.
“Rodri is only going to get better with time and at 23, he still has loads of time to make significant improvements to his game. All in all, this looks like an incredible signing on paper.”
In the wake of England’s World Cup heroics there’s a stirring piece from chief sports writer Oliver Holt who pays fulsome tribute to the leadership qualities of City and Lionesses skipper Steph Houghton.
Holt writes: “It is still worth underlining her contribution to the team, because she is far too modest and reticent to do it herself.
“This is a big statement, I know, but there is no one in football I admire more than Houghton. Not just in women’s football. In football. Across the board. Maybe you’ll say it’s because I feel sorry for her because she missed a penalty.
An unforgettable 5 weeks! pic.twitter.com/I8h6Wpk0Bw— Georgia Stanway (@StanwayGeorgia) July 7, 2019
“It’s not that, although it is true I would rather it had been anyone else who missed that penalty.
“Actually, it is because she’s the most inspirational leader we have got in English football, it is because she has been one of the best defenders at the World Cup, it is because she tackles adversity head on and it is because she puts her team-mates before herself.
“It is because she is stoical and brave and the opposite of self-regarding, it is because at a time when women’s football is taking such big strides forward, Houghton, 31, is exactly the kind of figure the game desperately needs in its vanguard, a figure everyone can admire, a figure driving her sport further into the mainstream.
When I look back on this tournament my overriding emotion is that of pride! Pride in this @Lionesses team and playing for my country 🏴 Thank you so much for your support, it means the world 🤓 #DareToCreate #Lionesses pic.twitter.com/1gM6RzO9ei— Ellen White (@ellsbells89) July 7, 2019
“It is because when the BBC’s viewing figures for England matches during the tournament have set a series of records, what better image is there leading by example to drive those figures further upwards than an England captain who embodies dignity, elegance on the ball, fair play and dedication to her sport and to her country?”
Stirring words indeed. Stay with us at mancity.com throughout the day as we bring you all the reaction from City’s return to pre-season training and join us again tomorrow for all the latest City-centric headlines, gossip and opinion.