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Sky Blue News: Yaya On Shortlist, Rodri the Villain, Must-win for City, and More...

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Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester City are headed for a crucial weekend in both the Premier League and WSL title races. Meanwhile, a City legend is up for the PL Hall of Fame. Sky Blue News is here to help you get it all sorted.

Man City plan £300m Etihad renovation - including more seats, new hotel and club museum - Kieran King - The Mirror

There will be a covered fan park for supporters to gather on matchdays, while a museum could also be housed. City have won four Premier League titles in the last five years and have totalled double figures for major honours in the last decade after success under Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola.

The money spent on the Etihad Campus is expected to rise to over to £1billion after previously building a new training ground, an extension to the South Stand, and further modernisation of the site. The City Football Academy formally opened in 2013 and has a state-of-the-art 7,000-seater stadium.

It is understood that consultation with the club’s fanbase and local residents ended last Sunday and City are hoping to secure planning permission in the near future. Should that be granted, then work is set to get underway in November with a hope to have it all done by the start of the 2025/26 season.

City do not want the developments to the stadium to affect any matches and are keen to limit disruption. Guardiola’s side have competed in Europe for the last decade and that is set to continue next season and likely in the years to come.


Ivorian midfield powerhouse Toure cemented himself as a City icon in his eight years at the Club after joining us from Barcelona in 2010.

He plundered many vital goals along the way, including his memorable winner in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United and strike against Stoke in the final, bringing an end to City’s 35-year wait for silverware.

Yaya was also integral in both our Premier League triumphs in 2012 and 2014, scoring a brace in the penultimate game against Newcastle in 2012 to secure a crucial 2-0 win before then scoring an astonishing 24 goals in 2014.

And he also lit up Wembley with a stunning strike against Sunderland in our 2014 League Cup final triumph.

All told, Yaya won three Premier League titles, three League Cups, an FA Cup and Community Shield in his time at the Club.

Man City have already been warned about difficulty of signing ‘£53m’ Brighton star on ‘wishlist’ - Michael Plant - Manchester World

Speaking in February, Brighton’s chief executive Paul Barber explained the club’s approach to departures, and why Caicedo’s sale was not sanctioned. “In the case of Caicedo, it may well have been right for the club that wanted him, it may well have been right for him personally, but it wasn’t right for our club and so the answer was no and he stayed,” he told JP&T: The Football Friendly podcast.

“There was no amount of money during January that was going to allow us or commit us to parting company with Moises. It was a critical player; we’re sixth in the Premier League, we are going well, and we want to try and finish as high as we possibly can because we have an opportunity for the first time in our history to do even better than we have done previously, which was finishing ninth in the Premier League.”

“Provided it is right for us with the finances and the contractual position, we are not going to stand in someone’s way and the same is true of players, but it has to be right for us as well as them,” he added, before explaining that Leandro Trossard was allowed to leave in January as ‘it was the right time for him and us’.”

Meanwhile, The Athletic claim Brighton rejected a £35m offer from Aston Villa for Yves Bissouma in January 2022 as they were not willing to sell the player mid-season, and Arsenal had five offers rejected for Ben White before they eventually matched the club’s price demands in 2021.

Rodri has become Man City’s unlikely pantomime villain - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

He’s always there for Manchester City, patrolling the midfield, rarely putting a foot wrong yet playing an irreplaceable role in Pep Guardiola’s system. Without Rodri, City wouldn’t function to the level they do - although he’s at his best when he does his role under the radar and out of the spotlight.

This week, though, away from City on international duty, Rodri has been firmly on the radar. He’s riled two opposition fanbases, added a new dimension to the Premier League title race, and emerged as the Blues’ unlikely pantomime villain going into the last two months of the campaign.

First, Rodri upset Arsenal fans by daring to challenge for a loose ball in his own box as the opposition player wound up to shoot. He made contact with ball, and admittedly the man, in a strong-but-legal challenge. His only crime was that the player in question was Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard.

So of course, Rodri must have identified Odegaard in that split second and gone in strongly to try and injure a direct title rival... That, at least, is the view of some sections of Arsenal fans online, regardless of the fact that it’s an absolutely nonsense theory.

Still, it was more headlines than Rodri usually generates, so he was perhaps grateful to have a clash with Scotland next up, where he was handed the captain’s armband and will have hoped to quietly influence the game once more.

Things didn’t go to plan, as Scott McTominay twice scored to give Scotland a famous win and leave Spain in another mess. After the game, Rodri called the Scottish tactics ‘rubbish’, pointing to their timewasting and deception to run down the clock.

If it’s Manchester City v Liverpool for Jude Bellingham then ‘dispassionate’ follows Haaland - Sarah Winterburn - Football365

If this is a classic head v heart debate for Jude Bellingham, history suggests the head will rule. He loved Birmingham but when Borussia Dortmund gave him an opportunity, he admitted it wasn’t even a hard decision. Every interview with Bellingham confirms what his football suggests: He is calm, mature, intelligent and entirely focused. Does somebody of that description choose this Liverpool project?

Liverpool’s great hope is that Bellingham is enticed by the possibility of being at the heart of a new Liverpool team, of being exactly like his hero Steven Gerrard, and the reverence in which he holds the former Reds captain was heart-warmingly clear this week when the two talked on television.

But the truth is that Bellingham does not want to be exactly like his hero Steven Gerrard because Bellingham wants to win league titles. And ‘dispassionately’ speaking, that is less likely to happen at Liverpool than Manchester City or Real Madrid. Even in this golden Jurgen Klopp era, Liverpool have won just one Premier League title and look roughly a million miles away from claiming another.

There was much made during the World Cup of Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold being in the ear of Bellingham about the wonders of Liverpool, but it was almost forgotten that Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips were in Qatar too. All but one were reigning Premier League champions (the other might have been understandably reticent to persuade Bellingham to join Manchester City) and that makes a quite compelling case.

Also in his circle is Erling Haaland, former Borussia Dortmund teammate and pretty much the epitome of clear-headed decision-making on and off the pitch. We can almost hear him laughing at the notion that Bellingham would choose Liverpool because of emotion and the opportunity to be an inspirational captain like Gerrard, to be at the heart of a Jurgen Klopp rebuild.

Paul Merson’s predictions for Manchester City vs Liverpool and other Premier League GW 29 fixtures - Paul Merson - Sportskeeda

This is a huge game for Manchester City and they cannot afford to slip up. If they drop points here, they could find themselves 10 points behind Arsenal. If City win this game, however, the onus will be on Arsenal. If you’re an Arsenal fan, this is a game where you’d be hoping City would slip up.

Liverpool aren’t going to dominate the ball and will use their pace on the counter with Salah, Nunez, and Gakpo. Manchester City do leave open spaces at the back and Liverpool will need to exploit them.

Liverpool have been a bit like a bag of rebels, and Jurgen Klopp doesn’t know what he’s going to get from his team. One minute they’re beating United and City and the next, they’re losing to Bournemouth away from home. If Liverpool lose to City and then beat Arsenal next week, they’ll have blown the title race wide open. Liverpool need to win both of these games to get into the top four, and that would be a good result for them.

Liverpool haven’t had the season they’ve had so far only because of Trent Alexander-Arnold. He gets a lot of stick, and I’m not sure what Liverpool are going to do with the situation. They’ve won Premier League and Champions League titles with him in the team.

I would be shocked if Erling Haaland isn’t fit for this game - he pulled out of the international break. I don’t know which Liverpool are going to turn up, and I’m backing Man City to win a massive three points this weekend.

And finally... A new position and title for the man in charge.

Sheikh Mansour, owner of Manchester City, receives United Arab Emirates promotion - City Xtra

Alongside Manchester City, and as part of his quest to expand the club well beyond Greater Manchester, Mansour also owns the City Football Group – founded in 2014 and consisting of Melbourne City, New York City, Mumbai City and many others.

Now in his latest venture, as per the reporting of Gulf News, Sheikh Mansour has become the new vice-president of the United Arab Emirates.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – President of the UAE – has issued resolutions, with the approval of the United Arab Emirates Federal Supreme Council, to appoint Sheikh Mansour to the position.

It has been reported that as part of the new role, Sheikh Mansour will work alongside His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The role of vice-president can now be added to Sheikh Mansour’s extensive list of key local and federal posts

There you have it Cityzens. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest from Manchester City Football Club. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.