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Sky Blue News: El Araña Extended, UCL Path, İlkay Interest, and More...

St. Patrick’s Day headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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Julian Alvarez Signs Manchester City Contract Extension Photo by Lexy Ilsley - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Cityzens. Manchester City Football Club are set for a home match against Burnley, and with it, the return of prodigal son Vincent Kompany. Sky Blue News has all the latest to get you ready for Vinny’s visit home.

‘I don’t care’ - Pep Guardiola warns Man City stars over team decisions - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News

Pep Guardiola has said that he only has time for Manchester City players who are interested in helping the team regardless of if they are playing every week.

Julian Alvarez signed a new deal at the club on Thursday to extend his stay in Manchester just a year after joining. There had been baseless speculation that the 23-year-old might be considering a summer move after having to play second fiddle to Erling Haaland for much of this season, but the Argentine has again committed his future to the Blues.

Pep Guardiola joined sporting director Txiki Begiristain in talking up the potential of Alvarez, but also spoke about how important he has been despite not playing. And, in a warning to anyone else who finds themselves on the bench, said the club took notice of those who do and do not help the team when they are not picked to start.

“The players don’t believe me but most of the time I think more of the guys who don’t play than the guys who play regularly,” said Guardiola. “I always try to pay attention to care and feelings to the guys who don’t play - especially if they deserve it, thinking about the time.

“If the guys are thinking ‘me, me, me, I, I, I,’ then I don’t care. And after I don’t pay much attention.


Alvarez moved to Manchester last July, joining from River Plate where he forged a reputation as a deadly goalscorer. He managed 54 goals and 31 assists in 122 River Plate appearances – including a strike in their 4-0 win over Racing that sealed the 2021 Argentine league title.

Widely considered one of South America’s top talents, he has enjoyed a fine debut season in English football, scoring 10 goals in 33 games, as well as bagging four at the Qatar World Cup as Argentina lifted the trophy for the first time since 1986.

Alvarez says he could not be happier to extend his City stay – and believes he has plenty of room for improvement during the course of his new deal.

Alvarez said: “This is a very proud moment for me and my family. For a club like City to put their faith in me like this is amazing.

Kompany returns to Man City as rising star of management - France 24

Burnley’s only defeat in their past 23 games came away to Manchester United in the League Cup in December.

They have a 19-point cushion in the race for promotion and a 13-point lead over second-placed Sheffield United at the top of the Championship.

Kompany’s success has caught the eye of his former boss, Pep Guardiola.

“I think his destiny to be the manager of Manchester City is already written in the stars,” said Guardiola after the sides were paired together in the draw for the last eight of the FA Cup.

“He has the attributes — work ethic, knowledge of the game, well-respected, experienced.

“Doing what he has done is so difficult and he is doing really well. He knows the club, the environment, the fans, what our people need. The destiny is there.”

Manchester City’s best and worst routes to Champions League final revealed as Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid await draw - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

City booked their place in the last-eight of the competition in style on Tuesday night with a 7-0 win over RB Leipzig in the second-leg of their last-16 tie, progressing through to the next round via an 8-1 aggregate scoreline.

Erling Haaland’s historic five-goal haul against the Bundesliga opposition was complimented by fine strikes from midfield duo Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne, sending a statement of intent to their Champions League rivals this season.

Victory over Marco Rose’s RB Leipzig side now means that Manchester City have progressed through to the Champions League quarter-final stage in each of their last six seasons, while the win this week marked their 50th such outcome in European competition.

In the next round, City are joined by Europe’s elite this season, with Italy’s Serie A being the best-represented out of the eight teams that remain, with Inter, Napoli, and AC Milan all remaining in the tournament.

John Brooks appointed as referee for Manchester City vs Burnley in the FA Cup - Jamie Tomkys - City Report

John Brooks will take charge as Manchester City face Vincent Kompany’s Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-final at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

John Brooks

The 33-year-old will officiate his third FA Cup game of the season on Saturday. He took charge of Championship side Sheffield United’s triumph over Spurs in the fifth round as well as their win over Millwall in the third round.

This will be his first game refereeing Pep Guardiola’s team. He has officiated 11 Premier League games this season, most recently Bournemouth’s 1-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday. He has given out 50 yellow cards in those 11 games, at an average of 4.6 per game. He’s yet to give out a red card in the Premier League but has sent a player off in both the Championship and Carabao Cup this season.

Arsenal interested in Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan - Jordan Harris - The Boot Room

According to Sport, Gundogan’s talks with Manchester City over a new deal are at standstill. The Germany international wants a new two-year contract with a hefty salary. And that is not someone the Cityzens are prepared to offer.

Barcelona are monitoring the situation, with the midfielder’s contract up this summer. And Sport claims that Camp Nou would be the 32-year-old’s preferred destination if he decides to leave. They are prepared to offer him the length of contract he is looking for, but not the terms.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are also interested in the former Borussia Dortmund star.

It would be a coup for Arsenal to sign Gundogan given his contract status. He is someone with 90 goal involvements in 290 games for the club since his £21 million move.

Pep Guardiola has described him as ‘incredible‘. And he is yet another winner. The Gunners have really benefitted from having Jesus and Zinchenko in their squad this season.

And finally... A look at some of the club history City supposedly don’t have.

Ever Wonder why Manchester City were set up by a church? - Joe Prince-Wright - Yahoo! Sports

One of the most successful teams in Premier League history, Manchester City were set up for one reason back in the late 1800s. But what was it?

St Mark’s Church in the West Gorton region of Manchester decided to set up a football team with rector Arthur Connell and his daughter Mary Connell heavily involved.

The Connell’s, plus William Beastow and Thomas Goodbehere from Brooks’ Union Ironworks, formed a football team to go alongside the cricket team they had already set up.

But why?

Helping the community key

According to records, St Mark’s Church formed the team in the winter of 1880 to bring the community together and to provide an alternative to gang culture of the 1870s.

There you have it! Stay with Bitter and Blue all weekend for all the latest. Sky Blue News returns Monday to recap the action. Come on City!