Pep Guardiola

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Man City interested in signing Brazil captain Alves

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The manager and player would need no introduction.

Dani Alves is being linked with a return to Manchester City, where the longtime Barcelona star would reunite with Pep Guardiola and make his Premier League debut.

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Alves, 36, continues to wow for both club and country, winning the Copa America with Brazil after a season after starring for Paris Saint-Germain.

Globo Esporte claims that Alves wants to stay in Brazil contention into the 2022 World Cup, and that he wants to play for a top European team.

The 115-times capped right back captained Brazil at Copa America and was first capped in 2006. He’s coming off a 3-goal, 8-assist season with PSG in which he played more than 2200 minutes despite missing the first three months of the season after knee surgery.

Man City’s right back corps is Kyle Walker and Danilo, and the latter could easily be sold to make room for Alves.

Would Man City, Liverpool accept role reversal?

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Pep Guardiola chases perfection. Jurgen Klopp is driven by passion and excitement. Neither would admit to wanting anything but triumph in every entered competition.

But if you asked supporters of their clubs, Manchester City and Liverpool, if they’d accept the following bargain, I bet they’d answer yes.

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Knowing that silverware is never guaranteed, even for two of the biggest spending clubs in the Premier League, would City and Liverpool be content with swapping their top accomplishments of this season come June 2020?

Why they’d take the deal

— Man City has gained a stupid 198 points the past two seasons under Pep Guardiola, an almost incomprehensible figure. It has never won the UEFA Champions League, and Guardiola has not past the semifinals since 2011, when he claimed his second European Cup with Barcelona. And if City finished a point behind Liverpool based on 1.1 millimeters of a ball? That’s football.

— Liverpool won the European Cup, its sixth all-time, and finished with 97 points in the league. That figure would have won the Premier League in every year of its existence until last season’s 100-point campaign by City. The Reds, however, won their then-record 18th English top flight title in 1990. Manchester United had seven at that point, and now has 20. Liverpool has not added to its total, with zero top flight trophies during the Premier League era. To be second-best, at best, for 30 years would be a tough pill to swallow.

Why they wouldn’t

— Guardiola came within two VAR decisions against Spurs and two subsequent rounds of an unprecedented quadruple, as City claimed Premier League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup. “Impossible” or not, Guardiola will like his chances of making another run at the quadruple as much as anyone, and City is going to be reinforce center mid, left back, and striker this summer. And they may even improve right back.

— Liverpool prides itself on its European Cup prowess, and has a chance to become the second champion to defend its title since 1979. It also has the opportunity to reach three-straight finals, which only Real Madrid and Juventus have done since Bayern turned the trick in from 1974-76. Klopp was relieved to have beaten Spurs. He’ll want to sink his teeth into the experience of a second go-round.

Report: Man City turns down Bayern bid for Leroy Sane

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According to a report by The Guardian, Manchester City has turned down a sizable $89 million bid from German champions Bayern Munich for winger Leroy Sane.

Guardian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that he expects Bayern to seriously consider coming back with a larger bid as the club looks to pry Sane from the back-to-back Premier League champions. Sane’s contract expires in the summer of 2021, meaning with two years left on his deal, this would be the time for City to sell at top dollar.

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The 23-year-old has struggled for playing time at Manchester City over the past season, a fact which could work in Bayern’s favor. While he has racked up 63 Premier League appearances over the two championship seasons, Sane saw his minutes drop from over 2,400 last season to just 1,867 this past campaign, often used as a substitute late in games. He was especially under-utilized towards the end of the season as the team fought with Liverpool for the title, left as an unused substitute just as often as he made the starting lineup after January – five times.

Still, according to the report, Manchester City desperately wants to keep Sane at the Etihad. Pep Guardiola confirmed after the FA Cup final that the club has offered Sane a contract extension recently, saying, “We offered to extend his contract. We want him to stay. What proof is more than for six, seven months we want to extend his contract? If we don’t want him, we don’t extend his contract.”

Should Sane depart, Manchester City still sports outstanding depth on the wing, with Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Fabian Delph, and David Silva all capable of playing out wide.

Bayern Munich is hoping to replace the departing duo of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, both of whom are leaving the club at the expiration of their contracts. Kingsley Coman is a good bet to earn more playing time on the left and Serge Gnabry has impressed on the right, with both players under the age of 24, but Coman has struggled with injury problems in the past and Gnabry has a small sample size of success at the highest level.

Sane has experience in the Bundesliga, arriving at Manchester City in the summer of 2016 from German side Schalke, making 47 German top-flight appearances for the club before his departure.

Report: Man City could use Gabriel Jesus to get Rodri

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At the root of this report is a question to which we don’t know the answer: How highly does Pep Guardiola rate Gabriel Jesus?

A report from Spanish outlet AS says Guardiola could use his young striker to lure Atletico Madrid into a swap deal, landing Manchester City their stirring defensive midfielder Rodri.

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Rodri is a nearly year older than 22-year-old Jesus, and is more instrumental to his current club. One of Atletico Madrid’s top talents, his $78 million release clause is an obvious route for City.

If Guardiola doesn’t see Jesus as a huge part of the club’s future, however, the manager may be able to go nearly like-for-like money-wise.

Jesus scored nearly every other game for City in all competitions, nabbing 21 goals in 47 matches, and has 13 goals in 27 caps for Brazil. Those are good numbers, especially with still-electric Sergio Aguero turning 31 this summer.

At his relatively tender age, Jesus has appeared 100 times for Man City and his 45 goals are made more impressive by less than 5600 total minutes in those matches.

Giving up on him to complete his midfield is a tough one. We think it’s more likely Guardiola pays the release clause… unless the manager simply doesn’t rate the player.

Pep: Domestic treble harder than winning Champions League

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Manchester City won its third tournament of the season on Saturday, battering Watford 6-0 at Wembley Stadium to add an FA Cup to its League Cup and Premier League titles.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

In doing so, City is the first club to win a domestic treble. Manager Pep Guardiola wants to win every competition he enters, but said winning all three is extra special.

“I love the Champions League but it is more difficult to do what we have done than to win the Champions League,” Guardiola said.

Wait, what?

From ManCity.com:

“It’s not easy being there every three days. We lacked a little bit of energy but it’s normal. It’s been so tough this week. We could not have had more energy but we kept it at the right time.”

Well, that makes sense. Whereas Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp risked less with his cup lineups, knowing his desire for the Premier League and Champions League, Guardiola’s lineups were aimed at winning everything.

And that’s largely why they’ve done it. City might’ve needed penalty kicks to beat Chelsea in the League Cup Final and a John Stones clearance to win the Premier League (or a Vincent Kompany thunderbolt), but the treble is impressive.