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Media Watch: City to pip United in transfer duels?

TARGET?: Allegedly, Joao Felix is wanted by City and United...

TARGET?: Allegedly, Joao Felix is wanted by City and United...

As is usually the case amidst the international break, transfer gossip dominates the City-centric headlines, as media outlets seek to fill their pages in the absence of domestic football.

Tales of touted transfer targets have sent the rumour mill into overdrive, so If you’re a fan of such gossip, savour today’s generous portion.

Before we dive in, there was one City star in action last night, as England Under-21’s drew 1-1 with Poland.

READ: Made in Manchester | City's goals and assists

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Phil Foden caught the eye once again, starring at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate to earn the Man of the Match prize.

Sky Sports hailed the youngster’s ‘excellent playmaking’, awarding a mark of eight out of ten in their player ratings.

Keep doing what you’re doing, Phil!

Elsewhere, looking ahead to next weekend’s return of Premier League action, Fulham legend Brede Hangeland has hailed Pep Guardiola’s influence on the English game.

Writing for his column for the Cottagers’ official website, he scribed: “Fulham’s next test could not get any bigger. Manchester City are arguably the best team in world football at the moment, and Scott Parker will face Pep Guardiola on the sidelines.

“I have followed Guardiola closely the last few years as he is the manager who has driven the development of the Premier League in recent years.

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“He is a thinker and a communicator, someone who provides his players with an innovative tactical framework and the belief that they will win if only they follow the plan.

“Guardiola is the greatest manager of our time, and Scott will be desperate to compete with him for the points at stake.

“An outside view of this fixture might leave Fulham with little chance of success, but anyone who knows the Premier League is well aware of the margins that decide games at this level.

“If Fulham can avoid mistakes, play from a solid tactical platform and display the same level of urgency as was the case against Liverpool, then of course it is possible to get something next Saturday.

“The prospect of playing such a great team should give the players a lift, and as things stand I think they can play without pressure, as nobody expects anything from Fulham in this game.

“But with the Craven Cottage crowd behind the team, anything can happen. I feel we are due a big result.”

Turning attentions to the aforementioned transfer gossip and it’s claimed City are set to pip United to TWO alleged transfer targets – Joao Felix and Ronaldo Camara.

On Felix, Mark Taylor of the Daily Star reports: “He could be on his way to the blue side of the city, with the Sky Blues weighing up a bid worth more than £100m to secure his services.

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“The former Porto youth player has been dubbed the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’, even earning a recent call-up to the senior Portugal team.

“And it seems his recent success has caught the eye of several clubs across Europe, including the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

“Felix’s release clause is currently set at around £103m. And Benfica are unlikely to let the teenager leave for any less than they have to, meaning the Portuguese would become the most expensive player in Premier League history.

“Portuguese publication Correio da Manha suggest City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, has regularly visited the Estádio da Luz to watch Felix.

“And the Barcelona legend has clearly been impressed with what he has seen.”

Regarding Camara, the Evening Standard’s James Robson believes: “Man City have also been closely tracking his progress and hope the prospect of joining their much-heralded academy and working under Pep Guardiola will see them win the race for his signature.

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“Camara is an attacking midfielder who plays for Portugal’s Under-17s. If he heads to the Etihad he would follow in the footsteps of a host of global prospects City have sought to snap up in the hope of finding the superstars of the future.

“Camara is seen as a top-class prospect who United were hoping to tie up a deal for him in January.

“But they could have to face up to him ending up at their fierce cross-city rivals.”

Meanwhile, Sports Mole report a price has been set for alleged City target Thomas Partey.

According to Matt Law: “Earlier this week, it was reported that Manchester City were interested in signing the Ghana international, who has contributed two goals and three assists in 24 La Liga appearances this term.

“According to Marca, Thomas has a release clause of £43m in his current Atletico deal, which is expected to spark a host of interest in this summer's transfer window.

“City are currently searching for a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.”

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Transfer gossip, an injury scare for Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, a focus on one of City’s exciting young loan stars and a blast from the Blues’ past all feature in today’s busy media round-up.

All the latest City news and opinion from across this morning's back pages.

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