Milner linked with Merseyside switch?
- 26 February 2014 08:02
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
Plenty to go at this morning with City linked with moves in and out the Club, plus the start of the Capital One Cup build-up - at least from Sunderland’s point of view.
We’ll start with Caught Offside suggesting that crowd favourite James Milner is a target for title rivals Liverpool.
With Brendan Rodgers side already linked with Micah Richards, would the Blues really be prepared to sell either of the two Englishmen and strengthen their squad?
The report reads: “Liverpool are plotting a summer move for Man City midfielder Milner.
“The England international is something of a bit-part player at the Etihad Stadium and the 28-year-old has just over a year to run on his current contract so may well be considering his future.
“Thus far this term Milner has made just seven Premier League starts but is still seen as a vital back-up option to boss Pellegrini and the former Newcastle United, Leeds United and Aston Villa man faces a tough decision.
“A new deal could be forthcoming and it may well be a lucrative one, but the hard working utility man may well feel he needs regular first team football at this point in his career and could therefore look to secure a move away from Man City.”
That’s the first time James has been linked with a move away from the Blues – let’s hope it’s the last time, too.
Elsewhere, that bastion of tenuous rumours, Football Direct News (via Caught Offside again), also has something of a fresh lead with the suggestion a move for a PSG player could be on the cards in the months to come.
They write: “Manchester City are set to face some stiff competition from Real Madrid for the signature of Paris Saint Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi as his contract talks at the club continue to drag out.
“Reports in Spain have said that Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is keen on a summer reunion with his former charge, after the pair enjoyed a strong working relationship together at PSG last season.
Matuidi is currently in the final six months of his contract at the Parc des Princes and is therefore allowed to enter talks with overseas clubs about a move on a free transfer over the summer
“However, City had been hoping to bring the France international to the Etihad Stadium and have told the player that there is a huge signing on fee in place to tempt him over to the Premier League.
“The 26-year-old is hoping to sort his future out one way or another quickly, though, as the season winds to a close before the World Cup.”
Moving away from transfer tittle-tattle, the build up to the first showpiece event on the domestic calendar has shifted up a gear with the Daily Mail’s Steven Green reporting that the Black Cats have some difficult decisions to make in their bid for a first trophy in 41 years
He writes: “Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet said on Tuesday that he faces some 'big decisions' when he picks his team for Sunday’s Capital One Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.
'It’s hard for people who have been involved and playing, not only in the league but especially in the cup,' Poyet told the club's website.
'They have helped us get there but everybody is fit and I am only allowed to take a certain number of players, so it’s going to be hard for a few.'”
No doubt Manuel Pellegrini faces similar headaches ahead of the game…
We’ll end today’s round-up with rejuvenated former City star Adam Johnson plotting the downfall of his former employers.
The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards reports: “Few give Sunderland any hope of beating Manchester City in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final, but Adam Johnson is adamant there is no team he would rather face at Wembley.
“Johnson already has England caps, an FA Cup winner’s medal and a Premier League trophy to cherish from his time as a City player, but he knows a win for Sunderland will give him something far more precious.
“Should he help Sunderland beat his former club and lift their first major trophy since the FA Cup in 1973, he will be guaranteed a place in history. It is the motivation that flows through Sunderland’s veins.
‘Winning this cup final with Sunderland would match anything I achieved at Man City,’ said Johnson, who is also hoping his excellent form will lead to an England recall.
‘City are going to win a lot of things. It was great to be part of the first team that won the FA Cup there for 40 years, but if you win a cup here, you’ll go down in history. It would complete the hat-trick of domestic competitions for me as well, which would be nice.”
No doubt several City players are also looking to complete their own domestic trebles at Wembley at the weekend – here’s hoping they succeed!