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Manchester City Round-Up: Yaya set for European return; striker praises team spirit; Brazilian in contract talks

Gabriel Jesus Manchester City

Manchester City

Manchester City Round-Up: Yaya set for European return; striker praises team spirit; Brazilian in contract talks

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has been recalled to Pep Guardiola’s squad for their Champions League last 16 tie with Monaco at the end of February after an announcement, reported by BBC Sport, this afternoon.

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Toure didn’t feature for City during the group stages after being left out of Guardiola’s 25-man squad, but since apologising the 33-year-old has reinstated himself as an integral part of the City side.

Toure’s agent, Dmitri Seluk, had been forced to apologise to the Spaniard, according to BBC Sport, after his omission from City’s European squad in order for the midfielder to be considered again.

The Ivorian scored City’s fourth goal from the penalty spot last night as Pep Guardiola’s side closed the gap to second-placed Tottenham to a single point, heavily beating West Ham 4-0.

City face Ligue One side Monaco at the Etihad Stadium on February 21st before travelling to the Stade Louis II on March 15th.

New signing Gabriel Jesus has spoken out after his impressive performance led Manchester City to a comfortable win at West Ham last night, praising his side’s fighting spirit.

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The 19-year-old Brazilian, who scored and assisted on his Premier League debut to cap off a fine display, was speaking to Manchester City’s official website and said:

“I am very happy for the goal, for the performance and especially for the win. This is the spirit we have to have – the spirit of winning. Without that, we would not be able to achieve our goals.

“Congratulations to the team because it wasn’t easy.”

Jesus also commented on his warm welcome since he arrived at the Etihad a fortnight ago, saying in his post-match interview that it has hugely helped the settling in process.

“The process of adaptation is going great. I honestly thought it was going to be more difficult. But thanks to my team mates, my family and my friends it is going well.”

Pep left out Manchester City talisman Sergio Aguero for the trip to London Stadium, instead choosing to give Jesus his first Premier League start, and his choice was rewarded with a man-of-the-match display.

 

The arrival of Jesus seems to have given City a huge boost after recent criticism, and the good news seems to be continuing at the Etihad as the Manchester Evening News reports that midfielder Fernandinho could be in line for a contract extension.

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The 31-year-old Brazilian has been one of the bright sparks in a frustrating opening season in the Premier League for Pep Guardiola, and he’s set to be rewarded after the City manager expressed his desire to keep him.

Although Fernandinho’s current contract doesn’t end until July 2018, Pep said:

“I am so happy with him and would be delighted if he continues for a long time here.

“He has one more year on his contract.

“It’s not just in my mind, but the club’s mind. He’s an important player for us.”

These contract talks come in spite of Fernandinho’s poor disciplinary record this season – where he’s missed eight games due to suspension, including a run of three red cards in six matches.

“He’s not an aggressive player, he’s a tough, intense player, like English football is.

“He is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and when you are one of the nicest guys off the pitch, you are on the pitch.

“What happened against Chelsea we have talked about a lot.

“We accept the ban, we don’t complain, but he’s not an aggressive guy. He’s an honest guy.”

The Brazilian returned to the Manchester City first-team during their win over the Hammers, coming off the bench for the final 25 minutes as he looks to stake his claim for a starting spot.

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Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

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