Telegraph: Negredo arguably the signing of the season
- 30 December 2013 08:40
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
We are inside the last 48 hours of 2013 here in the UK, so many of the day’s papers are choosing to take stock and look at the year that was.
Before focus turns completely to the fixtures on New Year’s Day, the Telegraph has opted to look at the Premier League title race at the half way stage.
Journalist Mark Ogden awarded City with 8/10 based on the first 19 games, highlights Alvaro Negredo as the star player so far, and states his case that an exciting home straight could be in store.
“In his first season at the club, the Spanish forward has been prolific in front of goal and a terrific foil for strike partner Sergio Aguero,” Ogden asserted.
“Yaya Toure has also stood out, but Negredo has been a major influence and, at £16.4 million, arguably the Premier League signing of the season.
“If City can get past Barcelona in the Champions League second round, the quadruple really could be on.”
“Verdict: 8/10 - On course for the title and still in with a chance of four trophies, so few complaints.”
The quadruple, you say? Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves just yet!
If City are to progress in the Champions League, FC Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta is just one of the glittering cast of attacking talents the Blues will have to nullify.
The 29-year old has insisted that his team do not fear taking on City, but does acknowledge that the four-time winners have got the toughest possible draw.
“This is football, the Champions League and Barca cannot be scared of anyone,” Iniesta declared.
"It's going to be an intense and exciting tie. I think City was the toughest side we could have drawn and will prove a good test for us."
The World Cup winner highlighted City as one of the form teams on the continent.
"City is doing great, Bayern, we're up there too, Atlético," he added. "[But] the ties are in two months and a lot can change in that time.”
With January just a matter of hours away, transfer speculation involving City is also hotting up.
Edin Dzeko’s name continues to be suggested as a possible target for a myriad of European giants, with Milan the latest to be rumoured to have an interest.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, Dzeko could be a replacement for former Blue Mario Balotelli if the Italian is sold in the transfer window.
Finally, John Guidetti is said to be interesting La Liga outfit Malaga, who are linked with a loan move for the Swedish striker in The Sun.
“Burnley look set to miss out on a deal to sign Manchester City striker John Guidetti,” the story reads.
“The Championship side have been told the player, 21, wants top-tier football experience - and Spanish outfit Malaga are closing in on a loan switch.”
The rest of that story is behind the paywall but I think that’s just about the top and tail of it.
Remember that all transfer or loan stories will be on mcfc.co.uk first and only when they’re done and dusted.