With the opening of the January transfer window moving ever closer, the feeding frenzy of rumours and speculation surrounding City continues with two new names making Thursday’s headlines.

As Pep Guardiola’s side prepare for Saturday’s vital return to domestic action away at Newcastle, there’s also a Premier League title rallying cry from Rodri as well along with a focus on our potentially pivotal December schedule.

Transfer gossip

thisisfutbol.com – City tracking Brazilian wonder kid

“According to Italian outlet Corriere Dello Sport, Manchester City are one of a number of clubs interested in the Brazilian wonder kid Gabriel Veron.

“The Palmeiras player was voted the best player at the recent FIFA Under 17 World Cup and having just signed a contract extension at the Brazilian club, according to Globo Esporte is rumoured to have a €60m release clause (£51.4m).

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“Unusually for a Brazilian, the player was partly named after former Argentina star Juan Sebastian Veron and interestingly it was his neighbour’s idea.

“Veron told Carta Capital: “It was because of Argentina’s midfielder Juan Sebastián. It was my neighbour’s idea. He always wanted to have a son, but failed, had three girls.

“Then my mother and father were undecided (during pregnancy), and the neighbour said: put Veron. My parents liked it.”

calciomercato.comCity interested in signing Brescia’s Tonali

“English Premier League giants Manchester City are interested in signing Italian Serie A outfit Brescia’s highly-rated midfielder Sandro Tonali in the upcoming transfer windows, as per Fichajes.net cited by Calciomercato.com.

“The 19-year-old is becoming one of the hottest young properties in Italian football and has been attracting interest from number of clubs from within the country and also from abroad.

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“As per the latest development, City’s manager Pep Guardiola is extremely impressed with Tonali due to his recent performances and is now eager to bring him to Manchester in the near future in order to avoid competition from the likes of Serie A giants Juventus and Inter Milan.

“Tonali is a Brescia’s academy product and was promoted to the senior in January last year.

"Since then, the Italy international has represented his current club in 66 matches in all competition where he has scored six goals and provided 11 assists."

From the players

The IndependentCity can still overhaul Liverpool in title race, says Rodri

Andy Hampson: “Manchester City midfielder Rodri is confident the champions can make up ground on Liverpool in the next month.

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“City, who are third in the Premier League, trail the leaders from Merseyside by nine points after 13 games.

“They face a tough December with matches against Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester, but Liverpool have a hectic schedule that includes the Club World Cup in Qatar.

“Asked if the gap can be cut, Rodri said: “Of course. There are a lot of matches and let’s see what happens. We will go on every pitch and do our best and always want three points. Nine points from the leaders – if we want to fight for this Premier League we have to win all the games.

“Of course it’s so important to do your homework, you have to think about the next ones and the next matches are so important. They are finals for us. The Premier League, Carabao Cup, Champions League – we have very important matches next month.

“We have to be focused and there are a lot of players playing a lot of minutes, so we have to rest and, of course, get back all the injured players to get all the team.” 

Opinion

Manchester Evening NewsThe moment Guardiola is still waiting for

Simon Bajkowski: “City's longest winning run this season is five games which they have achieved twice, ended once in a limp home display against Wolves and then in that chaotic night against Atalanta in the San Siro.

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“The home draw with Shakhtar was another momentum-sapping display to suggest that the team are not quite as "there" as the manager has publicly claimed.

“Thought to be the end when the Blues lost there last season, Newcastle could represent the start of something special this year, beginning a daunting run up to New Year's Day that features Burnley (a), United (h), Dinamo Zagreb (a), Arsenal (a), Oxford (a), Leicester (h), Wolves (a), Sheffield United (h), and Everton (h).

“Get through that run without damage and forget about what Liverpool do in that time, Guardiola will know that his team have hit the level that has made them the best team in England for the last two years.

“It is an almighty ask, but if there is any team that can pull it off it is this one.”