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Sky Blue News: Unsung Heroes, Bernardo to PSG?, Vinny to Spurs?, and More...

Headlines for your Thursday from Bitter and Blue.

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Manchester City v Burnley: Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

The international break moves on for the men as teams begin qualification for UEFA Euro 2024. England travel to Italy as Portugal play host to Liechtenstein. The women have their eyes set on Sunday’s match with Chelsea FC. Sky Blue News has all the latest to catch you up.

Should Manchester City Worry About Erling Haaland’s Injury? - Emmanuel Odey - Bitter and Blue

Haaland will now be out of action for some time due to a groin injury he sustained during the encounter. That was confirmed after he reported for national duty with Norway. He was subsequently sent home as a result.

“Erling Braut Haaland had some pain in his groin after the match against Burnley,” read a statement from the Norwegian national team.

“We hoped that this was just a familiarity that would carry over to Saturday, but after doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it to the games against Spain and Georgia.

“It is better that he receives medical follow-up at the club,” said national team doctor Ola Sand.

The big question now is how long he will be on the sidelines. With a crunch tie coming up against Liverpool at the beginning of April, Man City will need Haaland fit and ready to feature in the crunch tie. The same applies to other key players as the team approaches a crucial point in the season.

Man City have three unsung Player of the Year candidates to rival Erling Haaland - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

Erling Haaland needs four more goals to become the top Premier League goalscorer in all competitions in a single season. He is six goals away from the league record for most goals in a single season, with 11 games left to reach that total.

Already the top Manchester City goalscorer in a single season, Haaland feels like a shoe-in to be named Player of the Year in all the various end-of-year awards that will get handed out. According to the bookmakers, Haaland is overwhelming odds-on favourite for the PFA award, with compatriot Martin Odegaard his closest rival at 9/2.

When it comes to the in-house City Player of the Season accolade, though, the race may be closer than expected.

In that PFA Player of the Year odds list, Haaland is followed by Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and then teammate Kevin De Bruyne. At his best, De Bruyne is the best player in the Premier League, and he may still beat his own record of 20 assists in one campaign. City’s No.17 has shown glimpses of his very best this season but has also been challenged by Pep Guardiola to go back to basics to address some inconsistent form.

Across the City dressing room, there are at least three other players who will feel they can claim to be the team’s best performer of the season. They may not mount a strong enough challenge to deny Haaland another expected award, but should be considered nonetheless.

Report: Two Manchester City Players Set To Start For England - Elliot Thompson - The Transfer Room

Lots of players from the City set-up will be on international duty and one of the big nations with a handful of their players play tonight as England take on Italy in their first Euro 2024 qualifier.

Kyle Walker, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden all got picked by Gareth Southgate with Phillips being the biggest surprise due to how little football he has played this season.

However it was a surprise when he got picked for the World Cup squad but Southgate obviously trusts him a lot.

He is set to start the encounter against Italy, the side England lost the Euro 2020 final to, again showcasing how much he is trusted by the England manager.

Bernardo Silva ‘wants to leave’ Man City this summer and is PSG’s ‘number one target’ - Jason Soutar - Football365

The Portuguese midfielder has been one of the Citizen’s most consistent performers under Pep Guardiola – who has led Man City to four Premier League titles in the last five seasons.

His performances have seen him linked with a move elsewhere over the last two years.

The summer of 2021 was an uncertain one for Silva, who was a player Man City were reportedly willing to include in a deal to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

A move to Spurs was not tempting to the player, however, and it is believed that City’s sole bid for Kane was cash only.

Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, PSG and Arsenal have all since been linked with the former AS Monaco star.

It looks like it will be another summer full of uncertainty for Silva after Barcelona failed to sign him in the previous two windows.

The Catalan club’s difficult financial situation will likely hinder them if they try to sign the midfielder again this summer.

City do not tend to stand in the way of players that are looking to move elsewhere, as long as their asking price is met.

Roberto Mancini insists his time at Man City was ‘all above board’ amid investigation into alleged financial breaches - Soham Mukherjee - Goal

WHAT HAPPENED? Manchester City have been charged with over 100 breaches of financial regulations following a four-year investigation into their dealings between 2009 and 2018 by the Premier League. An independent commission appointed by the Premier League’s judicial panel will now determine any punishments for the club, but the case is not expected to be resolved any time soon. The timeframe for City’s alleged financial breaches coincides with Mancini’s spell as manager of the club (2009-2013). However, the current Italy manager is not expecting to be involved in the ongoing legal process.

WHAT THEY SAID: “No, I haven’t been contacted or called up by anyone. I don’t think anyone will contact me,” he told reporters. “I have paid my taxes and it’s all above board so I don’t think anyone will be in touch.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mancini is busy overseeing Italy’s preparations for the start of their 2024 European Championship qualification campaign in Naples. City, meanwhile, will continue to await a decision from the independent panel looking into their off-field dealings, with it reported that a final punishment could include a points deduction or even relegation from the Premier League.

Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany linked with major Premier League job alongside Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel - Harry Winters - City Xtra

Tottenham look set to sack Conte following last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Southampton, with Manchester City legend and current Burnley boss Vincent Kompany one of several managers linked with the North London club.

Kompany, who current City manager Pep Guardiola recently tipped to one day manage at the Etihad Stadium, is on course to lead Burnley back to the top-flight after an incredible first campaign at Turf Moor.

The Belgian replaced Sean Dyche in the summer, leaving RSC Anderlecht, where he had managed since leaving Manchester City in 2019.

Burnley are 13 points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship and have lost just two matches in the division all season.

The Clarets also reached the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup, but were thrashed by City in East Manchester last weekend.

And finally... A look back at a crazy 48 hours for City. And we think the fixtures are close today.


Former City star Clive Wilson still chuckles at the audacious thought of it.

“Life has changed, and you change with the times, so it definitely wouldn’t happen today, would it? But looking back, it did - and it was bonkers!”

Madness or not, it did happen, and the passage of time has not dimmed the memory of those who were involved in what serves as one of the craziest and most eventful 24 hours in City’s rollercoaster post-war history.

Fiction became fact as a largely youthful and homegrown City side first staged a stirring Old Trafford fightback to recover from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw on the Saturday and so put a large spoke in United’s Division One title aspirations.

By Sunday afternoon, we were back in action again, this time at Wembley as we locked horns with Chelsea in the inaugural and most eventful Full Members Cup final in the tournament’s brief and bizarre history.

From finding ourselves 5-1 down and staring at oblivion with 83 minutes gone, Billy McNeill’s young City side summoned up the most incredible of finales, scoring three goals in the final six minutes before being edged out 5-4.

There you have it Cityzens. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest from MCFC. Come back here tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.