- 14 July 2012 09:30
- Posted by Chris Eccles
City started their pre-season tour with a 1-0 defeat to Al Hilal of Saudia Arabia.
Sky Sports say that the win for Al Hilal, courtesy of a second half Alabid Nawaf Shaker goal, is a significant scalp for the Saudi team but conclude that Roberto Mancini is unlikely to be worried at this early stage of the season.
The Guardian reports that Aleksandar Kolarov was the pick of the senior players taking part in the game saying,
"Defender Aleksandar Kolarov came closest to an early goal.
"Indeed, the Serbian was a useful attacking outlet for the Blues in a drab opening period, which failed to see the best of either Yaya Touré or Carlos Tevez."
"Kolo's only focus at the moment is on pre-season with Manchester City and he wants to continue the good work he has done with his brother Yaya at Manchester City.
"Naturally there is a lot of interest in a top player like Kolo, but there is nothing definite at the minute and he is only thinking about next season."
In other transfer news, The Sun reports that City midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim may be sent out on loan to Norwegian side Stromsgodset and The Mail suggests that Milan and Juventus are competing to sign Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko.
Former Red Gary Neville, now a neutral television pundit, has warned City to expect a battle in their bid to retain the Premier League title. Neville told the BBC,
"Very rarely does a team run away with it, it's a tough league to win and the idea that a team will go and dominate, it's too early to start speculating about that.
"Manchester United have done it through the '90s and last 10 years, Liverpool did it in the 1970s and 1980s. It's very difficult to dominate over 15 to 20 years.
"We will see what happens next year.”
We will indeed Gary.