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Media Watch: City tracking Tielemans?

A happy City anniversary, yet more transfer speculation and the build-up to the Women’s World Cup finals all feature in a busy Bank Holiday Monday media round-up.

We kick-off with the Manchester Evening News for whom Simon Bajkowski has penned an opinion piece marking the second anniversary of City confirming Bernardo Silva’s move to the Etihad from Monaco.

In the ensuing two seasons, the Portuguese midfield marvel has gone from strength to strength, emerging as one of the key lynchpins in Pep Guardiola’s squad.

And for Bajkowski, Bernardo has become the textbook City signing.

The M.E.N. man scribes: “In a transitional first six months, he became the benchmark for every member of the squad with his attitude in training and the dressing room.

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“Even during that time, the man nicknamed Bubblegum because of his touch quickly became a fans' favourite as he married a sense of endless time on the ball with a furious hunger to retrieve possession whenever it was lost. Settling in Manchester and exploring the city on his days off also helped his popularity.

“The past 12 months have been a long honeymoon as that silk and steel have produced a litany of outstanding performances to help City to four trophies.

“Handpicked last summer as the player that would kick-start their season, injuries to Kevin De Bruyne heightened the need for Bernardo to step up and as he thrived on the challenge everyone responded. Voulez-vous soundtracked the second half of the campaign as the nippy play-maker stepped up against City's biggest rivals to deliver the Premier League title.

“Guardiola claimed he was the best player in the division ahead of individual award winners Virgil van Dijk and Raheem Sterling, and also declared him the best Portuguese player - some compliment given Cristiano Ronaldo's CV.

“Over the course of two years, a prospect who arrived at the Etihad under the radar for a significant but not excessive fee has more than tripled his value and become one of the outstanding players in the game. City are not short of excellent signings over the course of the last three years, but Bernardo must be at least one of the best.”

Meanwhile the transfer rumours and claims surrounding City continue thick and thick and fast with Youri Tielemans and Joao Cancelo the latest players to be linked with a summer move to the Etihand.

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The Sun’s Warren Haughton has penned a piece claiming that City are weighing up a bid for the Monaco midfielder, who shone during a loan spell with Leicester this season.

Writes Haughton: “ City have entered the race to sign £40million-rated Youri Tielemans.

“The Monaco midfielder, 22, has starred on loan at Leicester in 2019 and the King Power top brass are desperate to seal a permanent deal.

“But Pep Guardiola was hugely impressed with Tielemans' performance in City’s narrow win over the Foxes at the Etihad earlier this month.

“The City chief even made a beeline for the midfielder on the pitch immediately after the final whistle.

“Tielemans made 13 Premier League appearances for Leicester scoring three goals with four assists, forming an exciting midfield partnership with James Maddison.

“The £23m switch from Anderlecht to the Ligue 1 side two years ago has gone sour, with his five-month stint in the Premier League reviving his career.

READ: Bernardo voted Etihad Player of the Season

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“SunSport has been told City have made contact with Belgian international’s representatives about a dream move to the champions.

“Despite retaining the title, Guardiola is set to go again and add to his already star-studded squad this summer.”

Meanwhile the Daily Mail carries news of reports from Italy linking City -  as well as Manchester rivals United - with Juventus full back Joao Cancelo.

The Mail claim: “City are set to go toe-to-toe with rivals United in the race to sign Juventus right-back Cancelo.

“The Serie A champions are ready to sell the 24-year-old with Pep Guardiola's side considered the favourites for his signature.

“Cancelo was signed from Valencia last summer for £35million and now Juventus want at least £53m in order to let him go. 

“According to Tuttosport his performances in the 2018-19 season did not convince Massimiliano Allegri.

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“The Portugal international looked certain to leave due to friction with Allegri but now the latter has departed, his future is unknown. 

“Cancelo made 34 appearances in all competitions but still struggled to cement a place in the starting line-up throughout last campaign.

“Cancelo joined Juventus after making a strong impression in Serie A in a loan spell at Inter Milan.

“The Juventus defender plays mainly as a right-back but can also operate as a wing-back.”

Finally, with the Women’s World Cup finals less than a fortnight away, the Independent’s Phil Medlicott has filed an interview with England and City midfielder star Jill Scott, who has urged fans not to read too much into Saturday’s 2-0 friendly win over Denmark.

Medlicott opines: “The Lionesses struggled to find much rhythm as they beat the Danes 2-0 at Walsall's Banks's Stadium in their penultimate World Cup warm-up game, with Nikita Parris and captain-for-the day Scott getting the goals.

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“Regarding the performance, boss Phil Neville said afterwards he had "expected a little bit of fatigue" given the training his players had done in the build-up and their team-bonding exercise with the Royal Marines that involved a night's camping.

“When asked about that and if the players had been tired, Scott said: "I think it's just all part of a process really.

"We've been doing a lot of weights and a lot of hard training, whereas if you were in a tournament you wouldn't do that.

"It's obviously with the bigger picture being to hit the ground running when we start that game against Scotland.

"So I do think the girls probably looked a little bit tired but we ground out the result and I think that's the main thing."

After the break, Scott scored a 59th-minute header between Danish captain Pernille Harder being denied by Karen Bardsley and curling a free-kick just wide.

Midfielder Scott added: "We could have been better, we could have moved the ball a little bit better. (We're) not using it as an excuse, but the pitch didn't help us at times.

"But overall, getting that result and carrying some momentum into the World Cup is the most important thing."


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