City have been linked with a number of high-profile defensive recruitment over the past few weeks and the rumours show no sign of fizzling out anytime soon.

After yesterday’s Media Watch carried reports on Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, today there are suggestions that the Blues are also considering a move for a central defender from either Barcelona or Real Madrid in January...

 

Transfer news

Sports Mole: City eyeing La Liga pair?

Darren Plant writes: "Manchester City are reportedly considering making a high-profile defensive signing in January.

"Pep Guardiola has previously insisted that City would not be active in the next window, despite the club having failed to replace Vincent Kompany.

"However, according to reports in Spain, the Premier League champions are contemplating bids for Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti and Real Madrid's Nacho.

"Neither player is considered first choice at their respective teams, while each of the La Liga giants are allegedly keen to raise funds at the beginning of 2020."

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Opinion

Liverpool Echo: Pundits predict Reds will drop points

Josh Challies writes: "Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas, ex-Southampton ace Matt Le Tissier and former Reds ace Phil Thompson have made it clear that plenty of twists and turns lie ahead.

"Speaking to Sporting Life ahead of the return of Premier League action this weekend, the trio explained why Liverpool should not be counting their chickens just yet.

Charlie Nicholas: "I don’t think the title race is over. Liverpool have a vulnerability at the back that wasn’t evident last season. They stumbled against Leicester and Sheffield United.

"That luck balances out over the course of a season. They are not playing as close to the efficiency of last year, but that is not to say they can’t - anybody, at any given time, can beat anybody.

"This is the Premier League. Last season, although Liverpool were ahead, Pep Guardiola had a really good go at his team and was angry with them for about three weeks and he got a reaction.

"I think Liverpool will drop points along the way and Man City will close the gap at some point. They have tough places to go."

Matt Le Tissier: "I don’t think it is over just yet - after eight games, it would be ludicrous to suggest that. Liverpool have become quite strong favourites in the title race, but they let a seven-point gap slip in much less time than this last season, so we cannot write it off just yet."

 

WATCH: City DNA #18: The King of the Kippax

 

 

Reaction

Canadian Express: Beckie on target as City held

Jason Cairnduff writes: "Canadian international Janine Beckie scored in the 13th minute Wednesday, but Manchester City had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in first-leg round-of-16 Women’s Champions League play.

"A deflected pass came right to Beckie’s boots and she fired a right-footed shot into the top corner. The Canadian scored four goals, including a second-leg hat trick, in Manchester City’s 11-1 aggregate win over Swiss side Lugano in the round of 32.

"Mexican international Charlyn Corral scored the tying goal for the Spanish side in 81st minute."

 

WATCH: City v Atletico Madrid: Match highlights

 


Predictions

The Sport Review: Owen’s tip for Selhurst battle

"Former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen has given his thoughts on this weekend’s game between Palace and City…

"Owen said: “'I thought Palace were very good at the London Stadium last time out and only Liverpool (30) and Saturday’s visitors to Selhurst Park Manchester City (33) have picked up more away league points than the Eagles (25) in 2019.

'Palace are also unbeaten in their four home league games so far this season although they have not met anyone with the quality of the champions, who I expect to take away maximum points.'

 

WATCH: Palace 1-3 City: Extended Highlights

 

 

And finally…

BBCLegendary kids’ show Blue Peter bestows Sterling

"Premier League superstar Raheem Sterling has been awarded a Gold Blue Peter Badge - the show's highest accolade.

"The Manchester City and England player joked that he would "call it a day" on the Champions League now he's landed the award!

"He's been given the badge not only in recognition of how he inspires success for Manchester City and his national team when he's playing football, but also for his work tackling negative attitudes or issues off the pitch.

"On receiving his badge, the player said that it 'means a lot' to him."