Sky Blue News: Pep Presser, Phil Fitness, Erling Extension? and more…

Manchester City’s men prepare to kick off their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich. The women are back in training ahead of Sunday’s visit of the Hammers. Sky Blue News is here with the latest to get you ready.

Manchester City ‘gave Jude Bellingham a gift in October’ – Ben Sully – Sports Mole

Liverpool were among the contenders to secure his signature before they recently withdrew from the race, but they could still renew their pursuit in 2024.

However, Man City and Real Madrid are interested in signing the England international in the upcoming transfer window.

According to The Sun, the Citizens began their charm offensive in October when they presented Bellingham with a jersey signed by Erling Braut Haaland.

Man City invited Bellingham into their dressing room after a goalless draw with his side Dortmund in the Champions League group stage.

The 19-year-old was then given the top worn by Haaland, who played with Bellingham at Dortmund for two seasons.

Pep Guardiola is said to have made Bellingham his priority target for the summer transfer window, with Manchester City looking to sign a new midfielder.

Pep Talk: “We’ve been at the top of all competitions for six/seven years and we’re still there!” – Sol Garcia – Bitter and Blue

Manchester City travel to Bayern Munich as the club look to secure their place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Pep Guardiola had plenty to say and was in good spirits as his club sought safe passage.

Let’s dive into the quotes:

Pep on your feet

“We are delighted! This is definitely good news for us. He only trained one training session but we decided he would travel with us and be on the bench.”

“Of course not 90 minutes [vs Bayern Munich]. Because of his physical condition, he doesn’t need a lot of training to be in shape…”

Pep for Bayern

“We will defend ourselves [vs Bayern Munich], definitely. Part of the game is that you have to defend, and we will defend tomorrow…”

“I have been here at Bayern Munich and I know the mentality of this club. It’s everywhere… it’s in the skin. [A comeback vs City] Its possible…”


In the winter, he played a crucial role as Argentina won the World Cup. He has since returned to the Etihad determined to help Pep Guardiola’s side as they chase trophies in three competitions.

However, Alvarez believes the quality of competition in Europe is higher than he has experienced before.

“Yes, at club level it’s obviously noticeable,” he said.

“This is Europe, most of the best players in the world play in these leagues.

“Although the Copa Libertadores is also very difficult because of what football means in South America.

“Talking about the World Cup, there are also very strong teams, but here in Europe, in this type of competition, the best teams are here.

Pep Guardiola confirms Phil Foden’s rise ahead of Man City v Bayern – Simon Bajkowski – Manchester Evening News

Guardiola will name Foden on the bench for the European clash and believes he will return in their pursuit of a treble. Even if the youngster is unable to play a major role at the Allianz Arena, his presence in Munich is an encouraging sign that he will be able to play more in the upcoming games; Sheffield United are next up in the FA Cup this weekend ahead of their clash with top-flight Premier League side Arsenal on Wednesday, April 26.

“We are delighted. This is good news for us,” said the manager.

“He only had one practice yesterday. We are excited that he will be traveling with us.

“[He can’t play] 90 for sure, but his physique is special – a special player who doesn’t need a lot of training to be in shape. It’s important not only for tomorrow, but also for the schedule ahead of us.”

Ilkay Gundogan refuses to rule out Manchester City exit amid Barcelona talks – Harry Winters – City Xtra

The Catalan club are growing more confident of signing Gundogan after another round of talks with the player’s representatives last week, according to Paul Hurst of The Times.

Barcelona have reportedly offered the City captain an initial two-year deal with an option for a further year, a deal worth more than the shorter deal offered by the Blues.

Gundogan has won 11 trophies, including four Premier League titles with Manchester City, and could win three more this season as Pep Guardiola’s side bid for a treble.

City have a three-goal lead over Bayern Munich in Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg, ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final and a crunch clash with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium next week.

Erling isn’t going anywhere! Manchester City ‘are ready to offer star striker Haaland an extension’ to his £865,000 contract A WEEK after his £175m release clause ‘was lifted in November when manager Pep Guardiola signed his own new contract’ – Sam Brooks – Mail Online

Upon his arrival at the Etihad Stadium, Haaland had a £175m release clause in his contract which could be activated in 2024, but only by non-Premier League sides.

According to The Athletic, that clause has now been lifted and the club are ready to offer their star striker a new contract.

The clause was linked to Pep Guardiola’s future at the club and was removed after the Spanish coach signed a new contract in November to keep him at the Premier League champions until the summer of 2025.

City removed Haaland’s £175m release clause when Guardiola signed a new contract in November

Haaland is believed to admire Real Madrid and dreams of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, but is very happy at City and the club believe he would be willing to agree better terms on his contract, which is currently up to 2027

Although City have removed Haaland’s release clause in 2024, it remains unknown whether any additional release clauses could come into force in the latter stages of his contract.

Finally… Johnny, Johnny Stones, he rocked the blues.

John Stones: Manchester City fans – and Erling Haaland – love Pep Guardiola’s do-it-all defender – Richard Martin

Manchester City fans have no shortage of idols at the moment, be it the insatiable Erling Haaland, long-time favorite Kevin De Bruyne or the rediscovered Jack Grealish. But on Saturday, they were particularly pleased to see John Stones give them the lead against Leicester City with a searing volley from outside the area, as well as his weaker left foot.

As the defender ran to the corner flag to celebrate and hug Haaland, fans began chanting “Johnny, Johnny Stones, Johnny, Johnny Stones” to the tune of Boney M’s “Daddy Cool”.

The 28-year-old may not be the flashiest name in City’s squad, but he is still one of their most loved players.

He is the third longest-serving member of the squad behind only De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, lifting eight major trophies in his seven years at the club.

And he is hugely respected by Pep Guardiola, who has always jumped to his defense in times of trouble.

Here you are Cityzens. Stick with Bitter and Blue all day. I follow @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter for all the latest from Bavaria. Sky Blue News is back tomorrow with more headlines. Come on City!!

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