Media Watch

Gossip: City join race for Koulibaly?

Gossip: City join race for Koulibaly?

The transfer rumour mill has cranked up a notch in the past few days with City – as ever – linked with numerous stars around the globe.

We’ll begin with a relatively new story, with Team Talk suggesting the Blues are very keen on Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

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They report: “Manchester City have placed a bid of £85million for reported Manchester United and Liverpool target Kalidou Koulibaly, it is claimed.

“The centre-back has been a long-term transfer target of United, with the Red Devils believed to have failed in a bid to land the player last summer.

“Only last week il Corriere dello Sport claimed United had launched a final €100million bid for the Senegal international, while reports emerged earlier this week suggesting that Jurgen Klopp’s side had entered the race to sign him.

“Koulibaly made 48 appearances for Napoli last season and has established himself as one of the best defenders in the league, meaning if he leaves this summer he could easily command a world-record fee.

“According to Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Premier League champions City have now joined the hunt to sign the 27-year-old as they look to replace the departing Vincent Kompany.

“Carlo Ancelotti is looking to fund a number of big arrivals at Napoli this summer and could find a huge bid hard to turn down, with the Citizens having made an opening offer of £85m, the report states.”

Next up, Sky Sports believe that City have been warned off making a bid for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

The Blues and a number of other teams have been linked with the England star, but they will be wasting their time according to Sky who write: “West Ham have told Manchester City and Manchester United they have no intention of selling Declan Rice this summer, Sky Sports News understands.

“It is understood the Manchester clubs made initial enquiries for the England midfielder, only for West Ham to rebuff their interest.

“Rice enjoyed a superb 2018/19 campaign, making 38 appearances for West Ham and winning his first caps for England after switching his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.

“The 20-year-old is contracted to West Ham until 2024, with the option of a further year, having signed a new deal with the club last December.

“City were interested in pursuing Rice, but only if a proposed deal for Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Rodri fell through.”

“City are ready to trigger Rodri's £62.5m release clause after the Spain international informed Atletico of his desire to leave the club.”

Meanwhile Live Soccer TV continue a thread that’s been widely reported over the past week, as they report “Manchester City and Juventus are expected to be locked in talks in the coming week to discuss Joao Cancelo's potential move to Etihad this summer.

“The 25-year-old Portuguese full-back is reportedly on the radar of Pep Guardiola who aims to bolster the Citizens' right back position despite Kyle Walker recently signing a new two-year contract extension.

“Having joined Juventus last season for a fee of £40 million (€45 million) from Valencia, Cancelo made 34 appearances in all competitions and was influential in the Bianconeri winning an eighth successive Scudetto title.

“The versatile full-back has already agreed in principle to join Manchester City and it is understood that both the Premier League club and Juve are in advanced talks.”

Last but not least, on the eve of the African Cup of Nations, City’s Riyad Mahrez has spoken of comparisons between himself and Mo Salah.

Kingfut write: “Algeria and Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez has asserted that comparisons between him and Liverpool hitman Mohamed Salah are normal, saying that the Egyptian hero had two impressive seasons in England so far.


                        MAHREZ: Algerina superstar
MAHREZ: Algerina superstar


“Mahrez has starred for Manchester City after joining them in summer 2018 and managed to triumph the English Premier League title with the club, the second time of his career. He scored 12 goals and registered 12 assists in the preceding season.

‘I am not bothered at all [with comparisons with Salah]. I hadn’t known Salah well before he came to the Premier League. That said the two seasons he played in England were exceptional,’ Mahrez told Al Kass channel.

‘He deserves all what he achieved. Regarding the comparisons, I don’t follow what goes on the internet a lot. There are several Arab players playing for big clubs and it’s normal they get compared to each other and this is a good thing.

‘I hope to see more Arab players in Europe. And anyway we [Mahrez and Salah] now are with our national teams and we will see who will manage to help his side more in reaching further stages.’

That’s it for today – more of the same tomorrow…

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