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Sky Blue News: Extension Season, Porro Payday, Chelsea Are Ruining Football, and More...

Start your weekend with Friday morning headlines from Bitter and Blue.

Manchester City v Arsenal: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

The weekend is upon us and Manchester City are hitting the road. The women are headed to the midlands for a match at Leicester City, and the men are taking the M1 to London to face Tottenham Hotspur. Sky Blue News has all the latest to start your Friday.

Manchester City confirm updated 2022/23 Premier League squad following Joao Cancelo exit - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

The second-half of the season is especially important for Pep Guardiola and his players, as they look to once again retain their Premier League crown, but face a stern challenge from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal – who currently sit five points clear at the top of the division.

Ahead of the return of English top-flight football following transfer deadline day, the Premier League have confirmed Manchester City’s updated squad list.

Manchester City: Contract Negotiations, Transfer News and more - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Manchester City had a relatively quiet window this January and that to e only signalled a huge summer window is in store. As we enter that we hit today on five of the latest pieces of news surrounding new deals, transfers and more.

1 Cancelo dispute dust up

Let’s start with the shocking departure of Cancelo. The Portuguese star departed for Bayern after an alleged dust up with manager Pep Guardiola, well sources recently to City Xtra claim it was much to do about nothing.

The good part whether the dust up s true or not is he did and does value the fans and teammates he had here. We will probably see him this summer again.

Barcelona target has started renewal talks with Manchester City – report - Michel Durant - Barca Universal

The report indicates that the German international is keen to stay at the Etihad Stadium following Pep Guardiola’s contract renewal earlier this season.

In addition to that, it is said that the midfielder’s wife is about to give birth, and as such, a sense of stability would be sought by the player and his family.

Barcelona, for their part, had identified Gundogan as a possible short-term replacement for club captain Sergio Busquets.

The 34-year-old veteran’s contract expires at the end of the season and even though Xavi wants to keep him at the club, the midfielder is leaning towards a transfer to the MLS.

How Man City earned £10m from Premier League deadline-day transfer as funds increase ahead of summer window - Michael Plant - Manchester World

The Primeira Liga outfit paid £7m to secure his services from City in May, although a sell-on clause was inserted as part of the deal. That ensured the Premier League champions will earn £10m off Porro’s switch to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, when his loan with an obligation to buy becomes permanent in the summer.

Yet Porro’s transfer from City was not a unique sale for the club to make, and a further £1m was earned in January from Ivan Ilic’s move from Hellas Verona to Toronto. Similar deals also are in place with Douglas Luiz and Jack Harrison at Aston Villa and Leeds United respectively. The latter nearly joined Leicester City on deadline day, while Luiz reportedly came close to signing for Arsenal last summer.

Should either move at the end of the season, it will boost City’s summer spending - along with the fees received from Porro and Ilic - while if Bayern Munich opt to sign Joao Cancelo permanently then Pep Guardiola’s transfer kitty will only continue to expand. The Portugal defender joined the Bundesliga champions on loan last month, although there is an option to make the deal permanent for around £65m.

Reporter suggests Manchester City’s £45m signing could leave after one season at the club - Isabel - caughtoffside

Phillips has made just one start for City, which came in their 2-0 defeat against Southampton that knocked them out of the Carabao Cup. He has spent a large majority of the season so far recovering from a shoulder injury and playing second fiddle to first-choice Rodri, but he has still not proven himself in the short cameos Pep Guardiola has given him.

The manager also remarked following the World Cup that the 27-year-old returned “overweight”, which brings into question his efforts behind the scenes in training and off the pitch.

Guardiola is renowned for being ruthless when it comes to his players and it became more evident when Joao Cancelo quickly completed a loan move to Bayern Munich last month due to his attitude on not starting games.

Chelsea signings blow up a key argument from boring Man City spending critics - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News

It should shake Klopp and the rest to their cores then, to see Todd Boehly, a man who very much doesn’t appear to be a nation state, not just compete with City and the rest but smash them to pieces in terms of spending. In a January transfer window where City spent a shade over £8million, Liverpool splurged ‘just’ the £35m; Chelsea not only broke the British transfer record to sign Enzo Fernandez for £105m but paid out over £280m across the month to bring in six players.

Added to the £220m spent in the summer window, that takes Chelsea’s spend under Boehly to over £500m in just two windows - or almost as much as moneybags City have spent in the last four years. City have still invested heavily in that time, spending more than £100m each year on the squad, but those numbers are simply blown out of the water by the West London club.

Amortisation may well be the word of 2023 as everyone rushes to explain the accountancy tricks that have enabled Boehly’s team to spend so much so quickly, and there has been widespread praise for both the ambition and effort to make all of the signings happen. Absent from most of the coverage has been the sniping that accompanied previous splurges from City, or that surely would have come if Newcastle had decided to aggressively gatecrash the top four.

And finally... Might the Spurs boss be in the building at the weekend?

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte to watch Manchester City clash from director’s box? - Ben Knapton - Sporst Mole

Conte confirmed on Wednesday evening that the procedure had been a success, writing on Instagram: “Thank you for your lovely messages.

“My surgery has gone well and I’m already feeling better. Now it’s time to recover, I can’t wait to get back on the field with the team.”

Tottenham stated that Conte would return to the touchline after an unspecified period of recuperation, leaving Cristian Stellini in charge for Sunday’s game with the champions.

Nevertheless, the Evening Standard claims that the former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss could potentially be well enough to return to North London in time for the match and watch the contest from inside the stadium.

Furthermore, Conte’s chances of taking charge have not been completely ruled out, but the report adds that the 53-year-old is “unlikely” to take up his usual seat in the dugout.

Instead, Conte could keep an eye on proceedings from the director’s box and communicate with Stellini during the match, and he could still keep in touch with his staff from Italy if he is not given the green light to travel.

There you have it. Bitter and Blue has got you covered for all the latest throughout a packed weekend of matches. Sky Blue News returns Monday morning to help you recap the action.