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Media Watch: City ‘closing in’ on Fernandes?

RUMOURS: It's claimed City are in 'pole position' for Bruno Fernandes

RUMOURS: It's claimed City are in 'pole position' for Bruno Fernandes

Once again, transfer gossip dominates the City-centric headlines, as we near the conclusion of a pulsating 2018/19 campaign.

Although Pep Guardiola’s men can secure the league title with victory at Brighton on Sunday, media outlets of the footballing world must fill their pages before the build-up kicks into gear – and so, as always, rumours of potential arrivals take precedence.

Plenty of names are being circulated, as the press analyse who could don the sky blue next season. Goal, for example, claim City are ‘in pole position’ to secure a €50million deal for Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

READ: Guardiola nominated for Manager of the Season

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According to Sam Lee: “Fernandes, 24, has scored 31 goals and made 17 assists in the Primeira Liga this season and is said to be keen to join City, having been made aware of the personal terms on offer at the Etihad Stadium.

“Manchester United are also keen on the player but City are in the driving seat after recent talks between club officials and super agent Jorge Mendes, who is not Fernandes’ representative but has been called in to broker a move.

“Sporting initially asked for €70 million (£60m/$78m) for Fernandes, but City are hopeful an offer of €50m (£43m/$56m), plus two players, either on loan or permanent deals, will be sufficient.

“City are also still exploring the possibility of a move for Benfica forward João Felix, as reported by Goal in April.

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“Mendes is involved in both potential transfers and has met with City officials, including sporting director Txiki Begiristain, on several occasions.

“Sporting’s sporting director Hugo Viana has been present at at least one of the meetings regarding a move for Fernandes. City are keen to strengthen their midfield and the Portuguese club open to a sale.”

Meanwhile, the Manchester Evening News share the rumour that City are also set to go ‘toe-to-toe’ with United for Juventus left-back Joao Cancelo.

Writes Dan O’Toole: “The Portugal international has made 32 appearances for the Old Lady this season, laying on eight assists, and his form is said to have attracted admiring glances from the Premier League.

“Tuttosport, via Calciomercato.com report that City are preparing a bid after making initial contact with the super-agent Jorge Mendes, who represents Cancelo, and that United are equally keen to land the 24-year-old's signature this summer.

“An offer in the region of €50-60 million could tempt the Serie A champions into parting ways with the 14-times capped Portugal international whom they signed from Valencia last summer.”

In other news, former United striker Dimitar Berbatov believes Vincent Kompany’s sensational matchwinner in Monday night’s triumph over Leicester is evidence that ‘destiny is on City’s side’ in the Premier League title race.

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"What a strike from Vincent Kompany!” he told BetFair.

"If I was on the pitch, I would have been screaming for him to pass it … and I don't think he even expected to score, but it was an unbelievable hit, two keepers couldn't have saved it.

“To have your most experienced player and captain step up and pull something like that out of the bag really was a magical moment, and it showed that destiny might be on Manchester City's side (although Liverpool have had their moments this season).

“It means the title race goes down to the last day - which gives me bad memories of the 2012 season, when City pipped us - and it's going to be unbelievably tense."

Also discussing the final day, Bernardo Silva asserts City’s experience in handling high pressure could be key to clinching the title.

Quoted by the Daily Mail, he stated: “These players are used to the pressure - season after season we play for all the titles, all the cups.

“It's good, it means you are playing for big things. No pressure means you are playing for nothing.

“If you look at the points, we have 95 and they [Liverpool] have 94 - it's unbelievable. In a normal season both teams would win the Premier League.

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“The pressure is high for both teams - we put it on them, and they put it on us. They make us better and we make them better, because we both know we need to win.

“It depends on us for the last game. These are the moments every player wants to live. Two weeks to go, and we want to win two more titles."

Elsewhere, as the clock ticks down to today’s England Women’s World Cup squad announcement, She Kicks share comments from Keira Walsh, who hopes a thrilling 2018/19 campaign will help to drive support for the Lionesses ahead of their adventure in France.

Asked whether the FA Women’s Cup Final will have played a part in opening eyes, she responded: “Yes, not just the way we play but all the teams in the league.

“Arsenal have been fantastic this season, they’ve been consistent and put in some great performances.

“Chelsea against Lyon, Chelsea played really well and people are starting to take women’s football in England a little bit more seriously.

“Hopefully, that will carry on in the World Cup and we’ll get some fans out there and at home. To replicate the feeling that the men had in the summer would be pretty special.”

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Talking points: Kompany magic extends winning run

EMOTION: A delighted Vincent Kompany.

Manchester City go into the final game of the season with our fate in our own hands after Vincent Kompany’s magnificent strike against Leicester City.

Here, we discuss four talking points from a night to remember…