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Manchester City make contact with Barcelona over midfield duo

13 August 2017

The Belgium centre-back rejected a loan move to Girona last month and has spent some training sessions working apart from the main group with Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony.

Having favoured a 3-4-3 system for much of pre-season, Guardiola confirmed he will alternate between three-man and four-man defences. Fernando has gone to Galatasaray, Kelechi Iheanacho to Leicester City, although destinations for Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer have been harder to find. The trio are not part of Guardiola's plans and, it is understood, are training away from the squad.

In the last six or seven years Manchester City didn't buy full backs.

City have spent around £200 million (RM1.11 billion) to strengthen their squad in the close-season with other title contenders including Chelsea and Manchester United also spending heavily to bolster their teams. "But the season that just happened wasn't just about what happened in our box".

"All the clubs spend a lot of money - not just us".

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"The prime error was an unbending emphasis on attack that meant Guardiola expected all opposition to be snuffed out via ball retention and the notion City should score more no matter how many were conceded".

There should not be any shoehorning of players into unfamiliar roles this season after Guardiola signed three top-level full-backs - Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo - at a combined cost of around £124 million.

Tottenham looked unbeatable last season and were narrowly pipped for the title by Chelsea. When he is there to direct Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones, as he was at the end of last season, they are the best team in the country.

"They don't win all 38 games so you always have a chance".

City are the favourites and Guardiola will face some "pointed questions" if his side fail to establish themselves as "English football's dominant force", says Dickinson of the Times. The second week the people want a new [manager] for the next games.

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City are generally on offer at 6/4 across bookies as their favourites to win the Premier League this season, with the next best alternative, United nearly 2 points higher in the market.

Mohamed Salah's pace and trickery are likely to give defenders the chills in the Premier League this season. If the club decides he is not able, we are going to take a solution.

"I feel good", he said.

Fourth last season, Liverpool have signed relatively modestly, adding Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson to their ranks. We have to deal with that and handle that.

Guardiola will not change his style. They simply need to be at their best. Eyre has plenty. now the assistant manager at League One side Chesterfield, the 45-year-old was a long-serving employee at City and worked as part of the academy setup overseen by Jim Cassell.

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Manchester City make contact with Barcelona over midfield duo