Media Watch

Media Watch: City battle Real Madrid for defender?

Media Watch: City battle Real Madrid for defender?
There's the small matter of a Carabao Cup semi-final against our local rivals tomorrow evening.

The press have been dissecting that one, with plenty of talk about what our starting XI will look like. 

Former Everton man Tim Cahill has penned an in-depth piece on the BBC sport website discussing City's chances in cup competitions this season.

But we'll start today's roundup of the headlines with some transfer gossip. Despite Pep Guardiola repeatedly saying he is not looking for new signings at present, the press continue to throw names forward. So, here's today's... 

Transfer news

Daily Star: Man City ‘willing to pay £80m’ for Real Madrid transfer target Milan Skriniar

Matthew Cooper writes: "Manchester City are reportedly willing to fork out €95m (£80m) for Inter Milan star Milan Skriniar.

"Skriniar has previously been linked with a move to City’s rivals Manchester United, while Real Madrid are also interested.

"Now, according to a report from Spanish publication El Desmarque, City have stolen a march on Real as they look to strengthen their backline.

"The report states that Zinedine Zidane is in the market for a new centre-back and has Florentino Perez the names of three transfer targets.

"Skriniar, Kalidou Koulibaly and Diego Carlos are the players on Zidane’s list but it appears they are set to miss out on Skriniar."

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BBC Sport: City's philosophy will bring more success this season - Tim Cahill analysis

Tim Cahill writes: "Manchester City's philosophy is to try to win everything - so they focus on every game in the same way, whether it is in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup or League Cup.

"That is why they have done so well in the domestic cups in recent seasons - because they don't really change anything for those competitions, whoever they play.

"City ended up having quite a relaxed time against 10 men in Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round win over Fulham, but they went into the game the same way they would any Premier league match and, as usual, put 100% into their performance too.

"They also never give up until the very end, and there is no way they will let their standards drop in the Premier League just because Liverpool have got a big lead at the top at the moment.

"I think that is a good approach to have, because they still have three other trophies to go for in the next four months.

"The league title looks like it will end up at Anfield but if City can have some success in the cup competitions - which I think they will - then it will still be a successful season for them.

"In 2017-18, City were completely dominant and won the league by 19 points, but there was never going to be a situation where no other teams became competitive.

"Liverpool pushed them extremely close last season and have maintained their amazing form since then so, rather than criticise City for not being closer this time, I think you have to give credit to Jurgen Klopp's side for their consistency."

Predicted lineups

The Express: Man City team news: Predicted 4-3-3 line up vs Man Utd – Seven changes for Carabo Cup tie

Ben Pringle writes: "Pep Guardiola is set to make a number of changes to his Manchester City team when they face rivals Manchester United at the Etihad. The reigning Carabao Cup champions hold a 3-1 advantage going into the second leg of the semi-final, but Guardiola is still expected to field a strong side.

"City comfortably saw off Fulham 4-0 last time out to book their spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

"The Premier League champions fielded a much-changed team at the Etihad on Sunday, but an early red card for Tim Ream opened the floodgates with two goals from Gabriel Jesus and strikes from Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva securing victory.

"Guardiola used the tie as an opportunity to rest Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero so all three stars are expected to return to the starting XI on Wednesday.

"A host of other players are also in contention to take on United, although the Spanish boss will also have one eye on Sunday’s meeting with Tottenham.

"(4-3-3): Bravo; Walker, Fernandinho, Garcia, Zinchenko; Rodri, De Bruyne, D. Silva; B. Silva, Sterling, Aguero.”

That’s all for this morning’s Media Watch – but stay with us throughout the day as we bring you all the latest news ahead of our game against Manchester United tomorrow.

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