Welcome to the latest edition of City Is Ours mediawatch. The window is closed, so we trust you’re all keeping warm. Settle in with a brew for this little lot.
As clubs announce their squads for the 2021/22 Champions League, there are a few young players that could be of interest to Manchester City in the years to come.
One man who is neither young or of interest on the blue side of town anymore is Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal record-breaker has been called out on his treatment of former club Juventus, showing City may have dodged a bullet.
Elsewhere, one former City number 10 has been showing some love to another.
Ronaldo branded disrespectful
After the pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane came to a close, Ronaldo briefly appeared to be bound for the Etihad Stadium. But, as we know, he opted for a move back to Old Trafford as City went cold on the idea.
Last Friday’s conjecture over the 36-year-old’s eventual destination made for a great football soap opera. But former Juventus players Alessio Tacchinardi and Sergio Brio believe Ronaldo should have shown more respect when leaving Italy.
Brio told Tuttosport: “Juventus deserved more respect, I didn’t expect Ronaldo to make such a slight to the club. He hasn’t been kind to them.”
Tacchinardi added: “He has put Juventus in a difficult spot by leaving with just a few days to go until the transfer market closes; replacing a scoring machine like Ronaldo is impossible.”
Comments such as these from former Juventus players indicate City were right to avoid Ronaldo, given there were questions about how he would fit into the dressing room dynamic under Pep Guardiola.
Another interesting element is Tacchinardi stating Ronaldo put the club in a difficult position when it came to finding his replacement. City would have been faced with the same problem a little way down the line if they had opted for a quick fix.
Transfer policy under Guardiola has almost exclusively focused upon young players who can enjoy their prime years in Manchester. City can now return to that approach after their brief Ronaldo flirtation
The new Haaland?
LaLiga giants Real Madrid have included the son of former Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, Andri, in their Champions League squad.
Given his father used to play at the top level and he is an up-and-coming striker, we can’t be the only ones wondering whether Andri could be the new Erling Haaland? The continent’s top clubs will certainly be keeping an eye on him, including Manchester City.
Following the rapid rise of fans’ favourite Phil Foden, as well as 17-year-old Romeo Lavia being named in City’s Champions League A-list, there is growing enthusiasm over the prospect of a new wave of promising young talent being granted a platform by Pep.
Rolando’s singing ‘Edin Dzeko!’
Ex-City striker Rolando Bianchi, who scored five goals during his brief time at the club in 2007/08, hailed another former Blues number 10 – Edin Dzeko – who it is fair to say scored a little more frequently when he played in Manchester.
When discussing the forthcoming battle for Serie A, Bianchi mourned Italy’s top-flight losing talents such as Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku.
However, in former Roma favourite Dzeko, he believes the Nerazzurri might have the perfect replacement for Lukaku, who left to become Chelsea’s record signing.
“Unfortunately, Italian football is levelled after the departures of Lukaku and Ronaldo,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“But at the moment, Inter have the strongest and most competitive attack because it is the most complete. There is speed, strength and technique.
“Dzeko remains an important, almost irreplaceable point of reference.”
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As Dzeko gears up for another season at the top level, it is hard not to wonder whether the Bosnian could have been City’s emergency stop-gap signing up-front.
He would certainly have come cheaper than Ronaldo, enjoyed a heroes welcome and banged in the goals to get his famous songs booming around Eastlands once more.
Ah, well. Please take good care of him in Milan, Inter fans.