As City prepare to touch down in Shanghai, the media coverage ramps up with our first pre-season game of the eagerly-awaited new campaign drawing nearer.

City are set to play West Ham in the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre in our Premier League Asia Trophy opener on Wednesday and the headlines are packed with previews, player quotes and as always, transfer gossip…

View from the opposition

West Ham United: Pablo Zabaleta preview

Pablo Zabaleta: "It's good to play against my former team and to see some of the players I worked with before.

“I've got such great memories from my time there.

“It's a very good test for West Ham to play against the champions of England. We hope we can play a very good game and develop our style of play as we work to continue to get the best out of this squad."

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West Ham United: Mark Noble: We want to put on a show for Premier League fans in China

Mark Noble: “It’s only our second game in preseason so we’re still not fit and we need to get some minutes under our belts, so playing against the champions will help because they are really good – they always are!

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“We also play them in our first game of the Premier League season, so it gives us a little glimpse of Man City early on.

“What a fantastic team they are. They’ve had a lot of players away on international duty, so I don’t know what sort of squad they’ll bring, but they’ve got a fantastic squad.

“You want to test yourself against the best and they are the best.”


Opinion

Manchester Evening News: Man City might have found a new leader for next season

Tyrone Marshall: “One of the challenges facing Pep Guardiola over the next 12 months is how to fill his leadership group, given some of City's senior professionals are nearing the end of their time at the Etihad.

“Vincent Kompany's departure at the end of last season will be followed by the loss of David Silva next year, with the Blues losing 21 years of service in the space of two summers.

“With Fernandinho's contract also up next year, and the Brazilian turning 35 before the end of the campaign, his own future at the club beyond the 2019/20 season is uncertain.

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“But this summer Guardiola might have discovered another leader in his pack. Riyad Mahrez had captained Algeria just four times in 45 caps before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations, but as his country's most decorated player, with experience at the highest level in the biggest club games, he was given the armband for the tournament in Egypt.

“Rather than becoming weighed down by the added responsibility, Mahrez has thrived. He has been influential in taking Algeria to the final of the tournament, never more so in scoring the dramatic, injury-time free-kick that saw off Nigeria in Sunday's semi-final.

“He has embraced the leadership role handed to him by Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi, raising his performance levels to have a decisive impact on the competition, one which could yet end with Mahrez lifting the Africa Cup of Nations trophy for his country.”


Transfer gossip

The Telegraph: Leicester tell Harry Maguire he can leave but only for world record fee

John Percy: “Leicester City have promised Harry Maguire that he can leave the club if Manchester United or Manchester City pay a world record fee for the defender.

“Maguire has informed manager Brendan Rodgers and Leicester’s squad of his desire to pursue a move to either of the Manchester clubs, in talks at the club’s training base in France.

“The England international will not attempt to force through a move with a formal transfer request and has promised to remain professional if Leicester’s price tag is not met.

“United are reluctant to pay a fee which will be higher than the £75million Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in January last year and it is understood the two clubs are still some way from agreeing a deal. Leicester want between £80m and £90m and have made that clear during negotiations.

“Manchester City have also baulked at Leicester’s demands, and Maguire is now facing an anxious wait before the transfer deadline on August 8.”

 

Four Four Two: Three clubs in race to sign Dani Alves

“Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will challenge Manchester City for the signature of free agent Dani Alves, say reports.

“The 36-year-old left PSG at the end of his contract this summer before being named as player of the tournament at the Copa America as he captained Brazil to glory.

“Pep Guardiola has been linked with a swoop for the right-back, who he worked with during his time as Barcelona coach.

“However, El Mundo Deportivo reports that City face competition from Premier League rivals Arsenal and Spurs for the veteran defender.”


In other news

The 42: Super strike from Man City midfielder earns Ireland U19s a draw in Euros opener

“Promising midfielder Joe Hodge rescued a point for the Republic of Ireland today in their opening game at the U19 European Championship finals in Armenia.

“The 16-year-old, who plays his club football with Manchester City, scored a superb equaliser with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining to earn a point for Tom Mohan’s side against Norway in sweltering heat at the FFA Academy Stadium.

“Hodge’s first-time strike from outside the box nestled in the bottom corner of Kristoffer Klaesson’s goal, cancelling out Erik Botheim’s early opener for the Norwegians.”