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Media Watch: City track young Argentine star?

A new rumoured target, a salute to City’s canny approach to dealings in the transfer market and high praise for Pep Guardiola from a Brazilian legend...

There's much to digest in Saturday’s round-up of City flavoured news and views.

Transfer gossip

Sportwitness.co.uk:  City eye Argentine midfielder

Lucas Sposito: "The latest transfer rumour says that City, along with Sporting, are working to sign Argentine midfielder Thiago Almada.

"The news comes from two Portuguese papers: Record and O Jogo. Both outlets say Thiago Almada has become a target for the clubs.

"Manchester City are said to have been following Almada, who plays for Velez Sarsfield in his home country for a while now, according to Record, and the first contacts for the signing have already been made.

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"O Jogo even talks about a ‘future option’ for the Citizens, so perhaps he could move to Sporting on a permanent deal, with Pep Guardiola’s side having a priority for the future.

"There are also claims from Argentina about this chase. TyC claims that Sporting and Manchester City would be preparing a bid of €12m for Almada.

"That shouldn’t be enough, especially because Almada is about to renew his contract with Velez, increasing his release clause to €25m."

Daily Mail: Buffon rejected offers from City and United

Alvise Caznaggo: "Gianluigi Buffon rejected the chance to move to either Manchester United or City as he did not want a repeat of his underwhelming spell at Paris Saint-Germain.

"After a hugely successful 17 years at Italian giants Juventus, the legendary Italian goalkeeper opted to join PSG on a free transfer but his plans for regular game time didn't come to fruition.

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"So the 41-year-old recently completed an emotional return to his beloved Juventus but the Manchester giants were hot in their pursuit.

"Buffon turned down an offer from Premier League champions City, which was proposed by manager Pep Guardiola himself, and their rivals United.

"The idea of playing in England and competing for the historic Premier League title would have fascinated Buffon but after his emotional departure from Juventus last summer, he didn't want to turn down the chance to represent them again.

Opinion

Manchester Evening News: City negotiating is helping them in the transfer market

Simon Bajkowski: "City, like every other club, will not manage to land every top target and a stance that sees them refuse to pay what they consider to be over the odds for a player does not help in striking a deal before their rivals can muscle in.

"However, one area where the Blues have smartened in recent years has been their sales. The £25million received for Kelechi Iheanacho in 2017 has improved in value over time, and there have also been more clauses inserted into future deals. Dortmund's generosity when taking Jadon Sancho allows City to match any offer that they get for the winger - even if Pep Guardiola acknowledges there is unlikely to be a return while he is in charge at the Etihad.

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"When Real came in for Brahim Diaz with six months remaining in his contract, not only were the Blues able to get an initial £15.5m rising to £22m for the youngster, they also got special measures put in for his sell-on clause. City will get 15 per cent of any fee should Real decide to sell but that rises to 40 per cent if United - who have shown interest in Sancho - are the buying club.

"City have also benefitted from the buyback clause.

"Nobody thought that Angelino would now be part of Guardiola's first-team squad when he was sold to PSV a year ago after three years of loan spells. Yet the circumstances around left-back, with Benjamin Mendy yet to conquer his injury issues and Aleks Zinchenko still learning the position, the club saw an opportunity to bring the Spaniard back and have done."

Betfair.com: Rivaldo – Guardiola has nothing to prove

Rivaldo: "We all know that winning a Champions League is very important as it is the biggest club competition in the world, but just because Manchester City are the favourites to win next season's tournament doesn't mean it will be easy.

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"Barcelona took so long to win his second Champions League and there are many clubs that never achieved that goal, including City, so being favourite doesn't mean you would win it easily. There are so many strong teams fighting for the trophy.

"Despite only achieving Champions League glory with Barcelona and many expecting that he could repeat it in other clubs, from what I know of him, I don't think Pep Guardiola is too obsessed with it.

"Being a two-time Premier League champion with a record points total is a great achievement these days as the English top-flight is the strongest in Europe.

"Furthermore, he also won all domestic competitions this season and his team plays beautiful football. I believe that, if he continues at City for two or three more years, he will end up having very good opportunities to win the Champions League."

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