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Sky Blue News: PEP STAYS!!, The Case for Phil, Jack Plan, and more...

Wednesday headlines from World Cup purgatory.

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Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Manchester City Women are looking toward a League Cup match against Sunderland at the weekend, and the Men are away for the World Cup break. Sky Blue News carries on with all the latest headlines.

Pep Guardiola close to signing new Man City contract - Tyrone Marsall - Manchester Evening News

The six-week break for the World Cup has given Guardiola and club bosses a chance to sit down and hold talks over the future. Guardiola was in Abu Dhabi over the weekend and will return to the Gulf state for a training camp with his squad in the first week of December.

Asked about his contract situation before City’s final game of the first stage of the season, Guardiola said: “ Everything is under control, it’s perfect, the decision will be made together with the club the moment it has to be made.”

There is now the possibility Guardiola could even stay at the Etihad for a decade and this season the Blues are chasing a fifth Premier League title in the last six years, with the Champions League still a major motivating factor for the club.

BREAKING: SE QUEDA, Pep Guardiola Signs New Deal with Manchester City - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Huge, late and breaking news! A great and fantastic day as The Athletic have confirmed the Catalan manager has signed a new deal until summer of 2025.

A really good development after much uncertainty. The players and management have to be through the moon. The deal came over the weekend and confirmation is expected as soon as today.


City’s No.31 is hoping the team can emerge victorious this time around.

But, despite the pace and grace of the Samba Boys, Ederson insists the players need full focus.

He said: “We know how difficult it is, but we have a good team with total capacity of reaching the final and trying to win it.

“And we need to have this mentality, a victorious mentality.

“We need to think that we are going to be there, we will work to be there and that’s what we’ll do.”

Why Phil Foden should be a certain starter for England’s World Cup charge. - Laura Graves - Man City Square

We also have incredible defensive midfielders that can hold their own in front of a back 4. Freeing up the opportunity for more creative players in midfield to do what they do best – connecting the back, to the attack.

This is where Foden comes in. By far one of England’s (and City’s) most creative players. He has played in deeper roles before, for England and for City. He has the intelligence, the eye and the technical ability to create chances from the halfway line.

See his games for City, in particular his assist for Cancelo’s opener in the Champions League vs. Club Brugge. His performance in England’s 4-0 win over Iceland.

If Southgate wanted to be stubborn about the 5 at the back, then again, Foden’s technical and creative ability in midfield would see him link up the attacking players, bringing them into the game – and Southgate can also keep his spammed crosses and overly defensive style.

Ex-Man City favourite ‘convinced’ Kalvin Phillips will be a key player for England at World Cup 2022 - Aiden Beswick - Manchester World

Former Manchester City favourite Nigel De Jong is ‘convinced’ Kalvin Phillips can be a key player for the club and England. The midfielder joined the Sky Blues from Leeds United for £45m in the summer and is expected to play a huge role in their title defence this season.

Phillips made just three appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side this campaign before suffering a shoulder injury which required surgery. Following a successful procedure, the 26-year-old made his return during City’s 2-0 League Cup third round win against Chelsea on November 9, coming on as a second-half substitute.

The midfielder impressed at previous club Leeds, earning himself his international debut for England. He was one of the Three Lions’ standout players during the 2020 European Championships and was also voted their 2020-21 Player of the Year.

How Jack Grealish can use World Cup to Manchester City’s advantage - Alex Brotherton - Manchester Evening News

Grealish is clearly a superb talent, a player just as comfortable taking opponents on and driving into the penalty area as he is keeping hold of the ball, staying high and wide and stretching the opposition defence out in the way Pep Guardiola demands his wingers do.

The latter isn’t always that pretty to watch, and it is true that he needs to do more of the former to truly justify City’s decision to sign him. Sometimes it feels like he holds himself back even in moments when Guardiola would be happy for him to drive at defenders and create something from nothing; that might be a confidence issue, and a successful World Cup would certainly help.

After scoring just three goals during his first season at City, Grealish has netted once in 16 appearances so far this season. While he has put in some very good performances this term, so far he hasn’t showed the improvement in output that many City fans expected.

And finally... CFG are looking to turn the fortunes of City’s newest sister club, Bahia in Brazil, around quickly.

Manchester City owners plot £160M spend to take club to the next level - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

According to the information of Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness, Manchester City’s owners want to spend R$1bn/£160m over the course of the next 15 years on their latest investment club.

Breaking down the aforementioned targeted spend, it is revealed that R$500m/£80m would be outlined for signings.

Additionally, a further R$300m/£48m would be used to settle debts at the Brazilian club.

Finally, R$200m/£32m would be spent on improving and transforming Bahia’s facilities - which is likely to include training ground improvements.

There you have it. Stay with us at Bitter and Blue for all the latest throughout the World Cup.