Kyle Walker

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Pep: Man City’s attacking away win is huge

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Spirits are high in Manchester City camp after Pep Guardiola‘s corps of backs helped the team to a 4-0 away win versus Feyenoord in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

John Stones scored twice, and both Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker had assists in the win, prompting Mendy to call out Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus (who also scored in the win).

[ RECAP: Feyenoord 0-4 Man City ]

As for the architect, Pep Guardiola pointed out that the road victory is a huge step for the club after going winless away from the Etihad Stadium last campaign.

And he pointed out that folks who were critical of his splashing cash on Mendy, Walker, Bernardo Silva, Danilo, and Ederson this summer just saw why City keeps spending big.

“We have made a huge effort to buy five players to make that step forward, like all the big teams have done in Europe. It’s important to see if we can go away and play with an attacking mentality, not conceding counter-attacks.”

Most expected City to pick up a win on Wednesday, but this sort of decisive victory with so many new faces on the road staked a claim to the group.

Manchester City sign Walker in reported record transfer

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Never shy to splash the cash, Manchester City has reportedly spent enough to break a new transfer record.

The club announced Friday the signing of England international right back Kyle Walker on a five-year contract, reportedly joining for more than $65 million, with another $4 million in add-on fees. If the add-on fees are paid, Walker would be the most-expensive transfer for a defender, breaking Chelsea’s record that it spent on David Luiz in 2016.

Walker was rumored to be on his way out of Tottenham at the end of the last Premier League season and with Bakary Sagna and Gael Clichy both departing Man City, Pep Guardiola‘s side was in need of new fullbacks.

The move appears to make sense for both sides. Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino appeared to prefer Kieran Trippier over Walker in the second half of last season and with the influx of cash, Pochettino can use that money to improve his squad.

Meanwhile, Guardiola adds an international right back who can play in a back four or potentially as a right wing back in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2, and Walker is also a home-grown player, which helps Man City for UEFA Champions League squad registration purposes.

Reports say Man City close in on deals for Walker, Mendy

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Manchester City are said to be close to signing Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy with Pep Guardiola about to spend $120 million on a new right and left back.

[ VIDEO: Lacazette scores on Arsenal debut ]

City need these two additions badly, but that’s a lot of cash.

Multiple reports state that Walker, 27, has agreed to join Man City from Tottenham Hotspur in a $65 million deal (that would make him the the most-expensive defender in history) with the England international set to have a medical later this week and then jet off with City on their preseason tour of the U.S. next week. After losing out on Dani Alves to Paris Saint-Germain signing Walker was a priority for City.

As for Mendy, the 22-year-old French international has an incredible engine and his displays last season in the UEFA Champions League have convinced City to spend over $55 million with reports stating City and Monaco are close to an agreement and Mendy could be a City player early next week.

Now, we all know defense was the main issue for City last season and quite frankly it’s been that way for the last five seasons.

After letting Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy leave this summer, Guardiola badly needed full backs and although he has overpaid for them, just like he did for goalkeeper Ederson earlier this summer, he’s got what he wanted.

Walker will provide pace and power from the right back slot and City finally seem to have broken Daniel Levy’s resolved as Spurs’ chairman has played this perfectly. At the end of last season Walker fell out with Mauricio Pochettino and Kieran Trippier impressed as he slotted into the team, so know Spurs already have a replacement for Walker and they’re getting $65 million.

Mendy is the latest in the mass exodus from AS Monaco as the French champions have also sold Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva to Man City earlier this summer for $55 million and are set to lose Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea while Arsenal are chasing Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe seems destined for Real Madrid.

Back to City though, and if they complete this double swoop it will be a huge upgrade on their defense from last season as ageing full backs struggled to cope with the extra demands placed on them by Guardiola, and a shaky central defense didn’t help matters with John Stones struggling and Vincent Kompany only able to play the second half of the season when he returned from injury.

Balance is everything for Guardiola and with two attack-minded full backs he now has that. Just like he did at Barcelona with Dani Alves, Maxwell and Eric Abidal, he has full backs who can keep the ball and join the attack but are also quick enough to recover and keep a solid defensive shape after a turnover.

Walker and Mendy will basically play as wing backs for City and will be asked to move inside with the ball, something Walker isn’t too comfortable doing but he has everything else needed to excel at the Etihad Stadium.

Yes, they overpaid, like they usually do for defenders, but City have addressed their needs perfectly just as their preseason kicks up a few notches with the small matter of playing both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the U.S. over the next two weeks.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Danilo to Chelsea; Walker to Man City

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Manchester City appear to be putting all of their eggs in one basket when it comes to signing a new right back.

[ MORE: Ozil urges Sanchez to stay ]

Kyle Walker, 27, is City’s main target after Pep Guardiola lost out on signing Dani Alves to Paris Saint-Germain.

A report from the Daily Mirror states a $57 million offer should arrive from City imminently as Tottenham Hotspur play hardball over the Premier League’s PFA Team of the Season right back for 2016-17. They want $65 million for Walker, per the report.

The England international was left out of Spurs’ starting lineup on numerous occasions at the end of last season as reports stated that he fell out with manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Walker’s power and pace down the right make him perfect for Guardiola’s attacking philosophy but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is a notoriously hard man to do business with.

As City prepare to fly to the U.S. for their preseason tour, Guardiola has so far made just two signings with goalkeeper Ederson arriving and attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva coming in. City badly need defensive reinforcements but everybody knows it, hence the high prices and wage demands.


Another right back is in demand and it is believed Chelsea are closing in on signing Brazilian defender Danilo from Real Madrid for $36 million.

Spanish outlet AS claims that the deal for Danilo, 25, is at an advanced stage with the clubs discussing a fee for the former Porto man.

A versatile defender, Danilo has often found himself behind Dani Carvajal in the pecking order for the right back position at Real over the past two seasons.

Chelsea have Victor Moses in a right wing-back position but Danilo would perhaps be better suited defensively for that role and Moses would then be allowed to create further forward and give Antonio Conte another attacking option.

It would be harsh for Moses, who reinvented himself in the role in Chelsea’s 2016-17 title-winning season, to be ousted from the starting lineup, but Danilo’s arrival would perhaps simply give Conte two established players in that role and then he would not have to switch Cesar Azpilicueta out from center back to right wing-back if anything happened to Moses.

Danilo would be linking up with plenty of Brazilian teammates at Chelsea if the move did go through as David Luiz, Willian, Kenedy, Wallace and Lucas Pizaon are all around, plus Chelsea’s rich heritage of getting the best out of talented Brazilians such as Oscar and Ramires could persuade the talented defender to switch Madrid for London.

Back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero and German defender Antonio Rudiger are Chelsea’s only signings of the summer so far, as Conte has missed out on Romelu Lukaku and a move for Monaco’s holding midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko still isn’t finalized.

Alves will reportedly not join Man City, heads to PSG

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The Dani Alves-Pep Guardiola reunion at Manchester City looks unlikely.

Sky Sports is reporting that Alves is going to turn down a deal to join City in favor of a move to France, where he’ll join fellow Brazilian backs Marquinhos and Thiago Silva at PSG.

Paris Saint-Germain is expected to announce the signing of Alves on Wednesday, and Sky says that will move Guardiola’s attention back to a Premier League full back.

From Sky Sports:

The right-back had been in talks to join Manchester City and we understand the Etihad side will now re-double their efforts to sign Tottenham’s Kyle Walker.

Walker is seven years younger than Alves, and will cost a heck of a lot more dough. He posted five assists in 33 matches, averaging 2.2 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, and 2.8 clearances a game.

Alves is a different bird, only making 19 Serie A appearances last year and playing a little right mid, too, in grabbing two league goals and two assists on the season in addition to 2.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, and .7 clearances per game.

He’ll also be a terrific addition for PSG should the signing go through, with the UCL experience the club needs to take the next step in Europe.

Alves is five appearances shy of 700 for his career.