With the transfer window still open, there are claims City are closing in on a deal for one of Argentina’s most highly-rated youngsters – as well as talk of interest in a rumoured new central defensive target.
Fresh from his dynamic display against Wolves in the Premier League Asia Trophy at the weekend meanwhile, there are further plaudits for midfield maestro De Bruyne, and the captaincy credentials of three influential figures are assessed so there’s no lack of topics up for discussion.
The Sun – City set to clinch race for ‘new Messi’
Alan Nixon: "Manchester City are set to clinch a £16million deal for Argentine wonder kid Thiago Almada — the new Lionel Messi.
"Boss Pep Guardiola wants the midfield magician, 18, to be signed this week from Velez Sarsfield in a move first revealed by SunSport on April 21.
"Almada is keen to come to City despite rival interest. But he will be signed and then loaned to Sporting Lisbon for a year.
"City wanted to send Almada to Girona in Spain, but they were relegated. So Portugal is a decent alternative.
"The teen’s club form has been outstanding, so Guardiola took a personal interest in him.
"Almada is rated the best young talent in his homeland and his explosive and clever skills have marked him out as the latest to be compared to Barcelona great Messi."
Sportsmole.co.uk – ‘City weigh up Umtiti move’
Matt Law: "Manchester City have reportedly made preliminary contact with Barcelona over a move for Samuel Umtiti.
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"The Premier League champions are expected to sign a new centre-back this summer having seen long-serving captain Vincent Kompany leave ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
"Leicester City's Harry Maguire and Juventus's Leonardo Bonucci have both been linked with moves to the Etihad Stadium in this summer's transfer window.
"However, according to le10sport, Umtiti has now emerged as a target for Pep Guardiola's side.
"The report claims that City have made preliminary contact over a potential deal for the France international, although the English club are yet to decide whether to submit an official offer.
"Earlier this month, it was reported that Barca were willing to listen to offers for Umtiti, who lost his place in the Catalan outfit's starting XI last season to Clement Lenglet.
"The 25-year-old, who has also been linked with Arsenal, only signed a new deal at Camp Nou last summer and is contracted to his Spanish club until the end of the 2022-23 campaign."
Simon Bajkowski: "In 45 minutes against Wolves, Kevin De Bruyne - a man so cruelly forced to miss the majority of the last campaign with a string of injuries - was the architect of a plan that spells trouble for the rest of the league.
"After a bright start that saw Raheem Sterling dazzle the Wolves defence, a seven-minute break in play following an unfortunate head injury to Rui Patricio saw the plans made.
"Guardiola immediately called over De Bruyne, a player he wonderfully described this year as being able to see things that other humans cannot, and the two had an animated discussion. The Belgian then went over to his teammates, either in groups or as individuals, to get the message across before returning to his manager for a final word.
"What followed was like something from an American football playbook as City's full-backs charged into midfield while De Bruyne dropped back in alongside Rodri, forming a four in front of two centre-backs. As the Wolves players tried to follow what was happening, Aymeric Laporte dinked an arrowing ball over Leroy Sane's shoulder and City had their penalty that Sterling blasted over.
"It was a bewildering play, and City's captain for the first half then spent the rest of his time on the pitch reminding everyone just how sensational he was when he was driving the Blues to 100 points."
Madaboutepl.net – Three key contenders to be City captain
Nimish Uppal: David Silva - "During Guardiola’s reign at Etihad, the Spaniard was second in line to Kompany and is currently leading the charge on the Sky Blues’ pre-season tour in China.
"The 33-year-old looks highly likely to captain the defending Premier League Champions in his ultimate year at the club. This would also allow ample time to other players in Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva etc. to prove their worth to handle such a responsibility in the future."
Fernandinho - "Another veteran at the club who has less than 12 months left on his contract, Fernandinho is more than capable of leading the City charge come August.
"Even with curtains slowly and steadily going down on the veteran’s time at Etihad, the right-footed midfielder boasts a deserved claim to the captain’s armband."
Kevin De Bruyne - "An exciting choice in De Bruyne, the 28-year-old could fill in the void left by his compatriot for the captain’s spot next term.
"The right-footed midfielder also expressed his desire to take on the role if he was offered the chance which speaks volumes about his mentality and attitude."