As Wednesdays go, ours was rather good, wasn’t it?
A new contract for Bernardo Silva, a crucial win in the FA Women’s Super League title race with yet another hat-trick and four Blues named in England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers squad… Good news all round.
Plus, with our young Blues in Under-18 Premier League Cup Final action tonight, there could be further cause for celebration. What a time to be a Blue!
The main story of the day was of course, Bernardo’s contract extension and unsurprisingly, the news was greeted with thunderous acclaim by all corners of the footballing world.
ESPN’s Musa Okwonga was especially pleased, hailing the Portugal star ‘the future’ of the Club.
“When Roots Manuva, backed by the melancholic strings of the Cinematic Orchestra, crooned that "I'm All Things To All Men," he could have been singing a future ode to Bernardo Silva,” he scribed.
“The Portuguese footballer is not a jack-of-all-trades; he is a master. He has the trickery of a winger, the vision of a No.10, the energy of a No.8 and the tenacity of a centre-back.
“He is clearly the player that can take Manchester City forward, and with the news on Wednesday that the club have signed Bernardo to a long-term contract extension through 2025, it's clear that they believe it too.
“Silva was typically effervescent against Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg too, scoring in and orchestrating City's 7-0 win over the bewildered Bundesliga side.
“Overall, it was an emphatic statement to many, including his own manager, that his team are ready to win this season's tournament. He is now arguably more influential for City than his namesake David, something that would have been unthinkable just months ago.
“Some would describe Bernardo Silva as a box-to-box midfielder, but that doesn't do him justice. We have to look to basketball to find Silva's parallel and to understand truly his appetite for relentless excellence.
“If Silva were playing in the NBA, he would be Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder, an equally intense and effective force at both ends of the game. George, like Silva, is having one of the seasons of his life, an unassuming accomplice who people are rapidly acknowledging as the alpha.”
Elsewhere, Sky Sports reflect on last night’s seven-goal thriller at Adams Park, as City stretched our lead atop the WSL table in a topsy-turvy encounter.
The article reads: “Nikita Parris scored a first-half hat-trick as Women's Super League leaders Manchester City won 4-3 at Reading to go five points clear of second-placed Arsenal.
“After the hosts took an early lead through Brooke Chaplen, City went 3-1 up via efforts from Parris in the 15th, 36th and 39th minutes.
“Demi Stokes extended the advantage nine minutes into the second half, before Reading hit back through a Fara Williams penalty just after the hour mark.
“Kirsty Pearce scored with three minutes of normal time remaining, but the visitors held out for the win.
“While Nick Cushing's side have three matches left, Arsenal play the first of the six they have remaining on Thursday when they host Bristol City.
“The top two play each other in their final fixture of the campaign at Arsenal on May 12.”
In other news, looking ahead to this evening’s Academy clash at the Riverside Stadium (7pm kick-off), Middlesbrough manager Craig Liddle has hailed City’s array of talent.
“It’s a big occasion,” he told the Club’s official website. “The first team staff will be there and everyone at the club is looking forward to it.
“It’s another test, that added little bit of pressure, and playing against a huge club in Man City with some very talented players.
“It’s a really exciting night.”
Finally, turning attentions to transfer gossip, City and United are said to have been put on alert, after reports emerged regarding the future of alleged target Samuel Umtiti.
According to talkSPORT’s Jake Bacon: “Despite his return to fitness, Italian publication Calciomercato claim Barcelona are willing to sell Umtiti this summer.
“Umtiti, whose contract expires in 2023, reportedly ‘likes’ Manchester United and Manchester City, two clubs he has been linked with in the past.
“The 25-year-old joined Barcelona for £21.4million from Lyon in 2016 and his days could be numbered if the LaLiga champions move for Ajax wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt.”
The two Manchester clubs are also said to be monitoring Tanguy Ndombele’s situation at Lyon – so say the Sun.
Gary Stonehouse claims: “The 22-year-old French international has become one of the most-sought players in Europe following his stunning form over the past 18 months.
“Tottenham are the latest club to join the chase for the midfielder, who has been valued at £70m by the French side.
“That price tag has proved to be a successful deterrent over the past two transfer windows for Lyon.
“However, the club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas has now suggested he could be open to offers for Ndombele.”
Speaking to Footmercato, he said: “We want to win titles in France now, we want to go as high as possible in the hierarchy of European clubs so we must be in good economic health, but also have talent.
“We will only let go this summer one or maybe two players.”