by Caroline Oatway@Roline_MCFC
Media Watch: City to battle Barca for Rodri?
More praise for the Premier League Champions, including admiration from a United legend, FA Cup previews and a snippet of transfer gossip…
Thursday’s headlines are packed with plenty of variety so without further ado, let’s tuck in…
We kick-off with commendation from Jack Gaughan, as the Daily Mail analysed each team’s Premier League campaign.
Reflecting on City’s title win, Gaughan purred: “I've just about run out of things to say about Manchester City's season at this point.
“Watching how they've negotiated their way through the league schedule as well as devoting so much to the cup competitions has been mesmerising.
“There will be obvious disappointment at the Champions League exit, particularly the circumstances around it, but — even without another title from here — they will be remembered as one of the top two/three Premier League teams of all time. Maybe even the best."
Gaughan also highlighted Mikel Arteta’s impact as key to the Champions’ success.
“Described as 'like a signing,' by someone at City last summer so he qualifies after moving up to assistant manager after Domenec Torrent left for New York City. Arteta's had no trouble fitting in as Pep Guardiola's No 2," he continued.
“Tactically astute, lively in training sessions and well-liked."
Elsewhere, acclaim arrives from an unlikely source, as Ryan Giggs picked out three City stars who he maintains would ‘walk into any team’.
Speaking to the Premier League, he said: “They've got, probably in my view, three players who would walk into any team in the Premier League era - David Silva, Kompany, Aguero.
“There may be an argument for De Bruyne as well."
In other news, previewing this weekend’s FA Cup Final clash, Oleks Zinchenko asserts lifting the prestigious trophy would rank as highly as clinching the Premier League title in his achievements.
The Ukrainian’s comments feature heavily across the pages, as he declared: “It's an unbelievable feeling to be honest, to play at that stadium in the final and to go to fight for a title.
“A final is always special and we can't wait for that.
"For me, when I was younger the cup was just as important as the Premier League. I don't know how other players think about it, but for me it's like this.
"I would dream of playing at a high level. I didn't realise that I would be here and getting ready for an FA Cup final. It's a dream."
He added: "Watford have very good players, especially up top. Their manager and the way they play - I like it.
"It's going to be tough against them, I'm sure of that, but I think every single game our target is to show everyone who we are."
Meanwhile, Watford’s Etienne Capoue believes the Hornets can play without pressure, as ‘no-one expects them to win.’
Quoted by Sky Sports, he stated: “Everyone says we have zero chances, so we're gonna take it.
"Everyone says Man City is a top team, everyone thinks Man City is gonna win easily so we're going to try to beat them and stay focused for 90 minutes.
“That's the most important thing for us."
Finally, to transfer gossip and Caught Offside claim City are set to edge out Barcelona for the signature of Rodrigo.
Writes James Westwood: “With 45 appearances under his belt across all competitions, the Spaniard has fully established himself as one of Atletico’s key performers, helping them to secure a runners up spot in La Liga behind Barcelona.
“According to Cadena Ser, Rodrigo – better known as ‘Rodri’ – is being linked with a Camp Nou switch, but Manchester City are aiming to see off competition from a European rival to secure his services.
“Bayern Munich are also reportedly keeping tabs on the Spain international, who has a €70 million release clause in his current contract – as per Marca.
“It is understood that Rodri is happy with Atletico, but the club will have to consider letting him leave the club this summer if his buy-out clause is triggered by any potential suitors.
“It seems unlikely that Atletico would want to sell a prized asset to a direct rival in Barcelona, but a switch to City could be in the best interests of both clubs."
by Caroline Oatway@Roline_MCFC