Bleacher Report: Sterling the key for title run-in?
- 10 February 2016 07:02
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
A rare midweek for City without a game but there are still plenty of City-centric media morsels across Wednesday’s digital and printed press.
We start with a column from the Bleacher Report website, penned by the ever-readable Rob Pollard, who argues that Raheem Sterling could be the key man for City as they fight on four fronts in the remaining months of the season.
It’s quite the convincing case he makes, too…
Pollard writes: “Sterling has had an excellent first season at City. Like any young player, he’s had games where he’s struggled—overwhelmed, it seems, by the demands of playing in a side with such lofty ambitions.
“Overall, though, he’s shown more than enough to suggest City have bagged themselves a top-class, long-term attacking option.
“He brings pace and width to the side and has an ability to go past players. He’s scored 10 times—more than he managed in any season at Liverpool—showing his quality in front of goal is improving all the time.
“The treatment he has received throughout the campaign, from supporters all over the country, has been diabolical, and it probably stems from the media storm that followed his summer move.
“He was cast as a mercenary, a player turning his back on the club he loved in favour of money—an analysis that appeared to forget the fact he’s a Londoner who left Queens Park Rangers for Liverpool as a youngster.
“The fact he’s been a regular in a Champions League team fighting for honours, surely, has convinced some he made the right move.”
Onto transfer gossip and there are more links with FC Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets in a number of publications, including the Independent.
“Sergio Busquets has hinted that he could leave Barcelona and follow his former manager Pep Guardiola to Manchester City,” the story reads.
“The defensive midfielder, whose current deal at the Nou Camp is set to expire in 2019, is believed to be attracting interest from the Citizens as well as Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
“His agent Josep Maria Orobitg, who also represents Guardiola, is reportedly keen to see fresh contract negotiations open between his client and Barcelona, but has touted Busquets’ services to some of European football’s elite in the meantime.
“Busquets himself has now admitted that he could be convinced to leave the Catalan club if the opportunity to reunite with his former manager arose.”
Here are the quotes that reportedly stand the story up.
"I've always said that there are only two people that can change my decision to be here,” he told ESPN.
“One is my wife, who right now is here and is a Barcelona fan, so I don't think there is going to be a problem on a personal level. On a sporting level the other person would be Guardiola.
"It's clear that I owe Guardiola a lot and for me to work with him would be an honour," he added.
Finally, City have moved into pole position to sign Everton defender John Stones, according to the Telegraph.
Matt, Football News Correspondent of the newspaper, writes: “Chelsea will redouble their efforts to sign John Stones from Everton, although Manchester City appear favourites to land the 21-year-old with United and Barcelona also interested.”
As ever, you’ll hear of any completed transfer dealings first here on mcfc.co.uk this summer.