City are back, City are back! Hello, hello!
The wait is over… Manchester City return to match action today, as Pep Guardiola’s men kick-off our 2019/20 pre-season campaign, locking horns with West Ham United in the Premier League Asia Trophy in China at 1:30pm BST.
Let’s see what’s making headlines in the build-up to the game…
Manchester Evening News: How Man City should line up vs West Ham in Premier League Asia trophy
Simon Bajkowski: “It is a strong squad that Guardiola has brought over to China but most of his internationals only returned towards the end of last week.
“New signings Rodri and Angelino can expect plenty of minutes on this tour, while Danilo and Lukas Nmecha are among the player hoping to prove a point to the manager - or any other teams watching - as they make their case for regular game time next season.
“There should also be room for some of the younger players who have travelled; Adrian Bernabe and Luke Bolton impressed on the last tour, while Ian-Carlo Poveda and Taylor Harwood-Bellis have made significant progress over the last 12 months.”
Bitter and Blue: Will next season be Kevin De Bruyne’s?
Emmanuel Odey: “Having recovered from the niggling injuries, the 28-year-old is now raring to go.
“With the signing of Rodri, the Sky Blues have become even stronger in the midfield. A Rodri-De Bruyne-Bernardo midfield combination will rival the best anywhere on the continent. But the Belgian is expected to be the undisputed leader in the middle of the park.
“Unfortunately, he was pegged back by injuries last term. Having fully recovered now and at 28, he is at the prime of his career.
“Fully fit, he will be for us what Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are for Barcelona and Juventus respectively. Together with Bernardo the team can reach new heights next season.
“For a player capable of winning the Ballon d’Or, performing at full throttle can lift both the team and himself to continental dominance.”
James Ayles: “Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed the club have already turned down two bids for in-demand central defender Harry Maguire.
“Despite the offers, the England international played in the second half of Leicester's 1-0 friendly win at Scunthorpe on Tuesday night.
“Maguire has attracted interest from both Manchester City and Manchester United, but no bid has yet reached the Foxes' evaluation of around £90million.
“A £90m deal would break Virgil van Dijk's world record fee of £75m for a defender, set when he joined Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018.
“United are thought to be Maguire's preferred destination, but Pep Guardiola is also searching for a replacement for departed captain Vincent Kompany.”
Bruno Andrade: “Juventus have joined Manchester City and Inter in the battle to sign Dani Alves as a free agent.
“Sources close to developments around the legendary Brazilian full-back have revealed to Goal that the 36-year-old’s representatives were in Turin on Monday.
“Discussions have been held regarding a possible deal to take the iconic South American back to Italy after he previously spent one season with the Bianconeri in 2016-17.
“Once it was revealed that he would be available this summer, leading sides across Europe were quick to register their interest.
“Premier League champions City, who sought to put a deal in place prior to Alves making a move to PSG, are back on the scene.
“Pep Guardiola has previously enjoyed success working with a vastly-experienced defender at Barcelona.”