According to talkSPORT, Manchester City could be set to enter a race with Spanish giants Real Madrid to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara once the current season comes to a close.
The report alleges that the Bundesliga side are considering offering the 25-year-old a new contract amidst the potential interest from City and Madrid, in hope of securing Thiago for the long-term.
It’s believed that Bayern aren’t prepared to let Thiago leave, with the Spaniard starring as the German side challenge to win both their domestic league title and the Champions League this year.
Yet Guardiola’s link to Thiago – the two spent time together whilst he was managing Bayern – could persuade him to make the move to Manchester if a new deal isn’t agreed between player and club.
The Munich man has been an integral part of the team this season, making 21 appearances in the Bundesliga, and played a big role in Bayern’s destruction of Arsenal over two legs two months ago.
On the subject of midfielders, Manchester City man Ilkay Gundogan has stepped up his recovery from injury after being seen kicking a ball for the first time since the middle of December.
Gundogan was ruled out for the rest of the season after tearing the cruciate ligaments in his knee during City’s victory over Watford during the festive period and required intense surgery.
Yet yesterday the Manchester Evening News reported that he posted a video on his Instagram page with a ball at his feet, lifting spirits at the Etihad that he’s firmly on track to return in time for pre-season.
Gundogan has outlined the derby against Manchester United – part of both sides’ pre-season itinerary in America – as his expected return date to the first-team squad.
Speaking a fortnight ago about his recovery, the 26-year-old said:
“Unfortunately my injury is a long-term injury, it takes quite a few months to recover, but I am okay with that. That is fine for me, I work hard.
“I just try to do the best every day and try to come back as soon as possible on the field. Hopefully I can start pre-season.”
The German midfielder made ten appearances in the Premier League before his untimely injury, scoring three times and assisting once as the Citizens started the season in a strong fashion.
One man who returned from injury during the 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday was captain Vincent Kompany, who said in his post-match interview that he was happy with his display.
Kompany hadn’t made a Premier League appearance since picking up a long-term injury against Crystal Palace all the way back in November, but he lasted the full 90 minutes as the leaders ran out winners.
Reacting to the loss to the Manchester Evening News, the Manchester City captain said:
“It wasn’t the easiest game to get back into but what I would say in terms of advice to younger players is: I could have stood back and moaned and complained that I wasn’t playing but I never did.
“I worked very hard for that one opportunity and within the conditions that we available to me, I was helpful to the team. That’s what I wanted to do.”
The 30-year-old was partly at fault for Chelsea’s opener as he deflected Eden Hazard’s shot past goalkeeper Willy Cabellero, completely wrong-footing the Argentine.
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