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Sky Blue News: MacIver Withdraws, Grealish Transformed, Pavard Interest, and More..

Wednesday headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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England v Italy - Arnold Clark Cup Photo by Harriet Lander - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

It’s a slow news day around Manchester City. The lads are back in training today as the prep for a trip to Southampton. The women remain away for the international break. Sky Blue News has once again scanned the Cityverse for all the latest.

Ellie Roebuck makes Manchester City ‘cup final’ vow and opens up on World Cup dream - Beth Lindop - Manchester Evening News

City, who are three points off league leaders Manchester United, will return to league action against West Ham on April 23. However, before their clash with the Hammers, a number of Taylor’s squad will be jetting off on international duty, with Roebuck among those linking up with her national team.

The 23-year-old has already tasted success on the international stage, having been a member of England’s EURO-winning squad last July. And the goalkeeper is relishing the opportunity to be part of the most successful Lionesses side in history, with one eye firmly trained on making the squad for the World Cup in the summer.

“It’s a really exciting squad to be part of,” she said. “Obviously my goal is to go to the World Cup at the end of the season but the only way I’m going to achieve that is if I’m performing well at the club so that’s what my focus is at the minute.

“It’s great to be part of the legacy we’re achieving on the international stage. Not just on the pitch but off it too, to be part of that movement and help grow the women’s game and women’s sport in general.


The Manchester City goalkeeper will miss tomorrow’s Finalissima against Brazil and the forthcoming international fixture with Australia.

No player will be called up as a replacement and the 24-player squad will depart St George’s Park to travel to London later today.

The Lionesses take part in the inaugural women’s Finalissima at a sold-out Wembley Stadium against South America’s reigning champions on Thursday 6 April (7.45pm BST).

A second fixture against 2023 FIFA World Cup hosts Australia, in aid of the FA’s charity partner the Alzheimer’s Society, will follow on Tuesday 11 April (7.45pm BST) at the home of Brentford FC.

Man City: Guardiola finally ‘unlocking’ £300k-a-week star’s potential at Etihad - Amos Murphy - GIVEMESPORT

Dancing in behind the Liverpool defence, one swing of the right boot from Grealish would cap off a memorable performance for City.

Netting his first goal at the Etihad Stadium since December 2021, Grealish added City’s fourth of the afternoon in spectacular fashion by guiding home Kevin De Bruyne’s pinpoint cutback.

It came after a dazzling display from the 31-cap England international, whose lung-busting run earlier in the first half, while the visitors were 1-0 up, denied what looked like a certain second for Liverpool, before Grealish went on to provide the assist for Julian Alvarez’s equaliser just two minutes later.

That now means each of Grealish’s last six G/A contributions for City in the Premier League have come against Chelsea, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Liverpool, indicating his importance in big matches for Guardiola’s side (Flashscore).

How Jack Grealish transformed his Man City career after transitional debut season - Callum Sutherland - Manchester Evening News

Although the 4-1 victory was largely a game of two halves, the England forward shone throughout. Providing an assist for City’s equaliser and capping the game off with a goal of his own captured the quality of his performance.

Since the league’s resumption after the World Cup in December, Grealish’s season has transformed, so much to the point that he is now one of City’s most important players.

This form however would be unrecognisable in the first half of the season, even more so in comparison to last year’s title-winning campaign. So how has Grealish turned his fortunes around so impressively?

Before joining his England teammates on the plane to Qatar last November, City’s number 10 had registered just one goal in all competitions, with no assists.

Celtic set for Japan pre-season tournament, Manchester City involvement, Ange Postecoglou reunion, key dates - Joel Sked - The Scotsman

Celtic are set to take part in a pre-season tournament in Japan which could see the Scottish league leaders take on Manchester City, while there will be a Yokohama F. Marinos reunion for Ange Postecoglou.

According to reports in Japan, J1 League officials “are making adjustments” to allow for the exhibition matches to be played late July during a short break in the Japanese top-flight’s calendar. There have currently been six rounds of matches played. After July 15, there is a three-week pause.

The new Scottish Premiership campaign doesn’t begin until the weekend of August 5 and, providing Celtic retain this year’s title, they will qualify for the Champions League group stages which begin in September, meaning they won’t be involved in any qualifying rounds.

Celtic are expected to be joined by Manchester City, while there have been previous reports regarding Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain’s involvement. The English Premier League side played against Japanese champions Yokohama, who are part of the City Group, in Japan in 2019 when Postecoglou was manager. The pre-season tournament would be special for the Parkhead boss and a number of his squad. The Australian was in charge of Yokohama for more than 160 matches and guided the team to the league title in 2019. Both Daizen Maeda and Tomoki Iwata played for the club as well with the latter currently on loan but is expected to sign permanently in the summer.

Man City, Man Utd & Real Madrid show interest in Benjamin Pavard - Graeme Bailey - 90min

City, United and Real are all looking at bolstering their options at right back in the coming months and Pavard has emerged as a very attractive option.

Sources have told 90min that all three clubs are well aware of the state of play with Pavard, and have asked to be kept informed about his situation.

Pavard has just over a year left on his current deal and Bayern are keen to open talks over an extension. But the Frenchman and his representatives have told the Bundesliga giants that they will wait until the summer before deciding what to do next, which is something the player confirmed publicly this week.

“There are currently no talks with the club, we’re focused on our season goals,” Pavard said. “I’m just trying to play my best football and win trophies. We’ll see this summer.”

Bayern recently dismissed Julian Nagelsmann as manager, which shocked Pavard and many of his teammates, but new boss Thomas Tuchel has wasted little time in confirming his admiration for the 27-year-old.

And finally... A look at the family life of a young KDB.

Man City star Kevin De Bruyne grew up on oil money and may have played for African country - Alex Turk - The Express

De Bruyne’s mother was born in Burundi, East Africa, growing up in the continent where his grandfather’s oil companies were based.

She took control of companies in the Ivory Coast and Burundi and currently works as a petroleum engineering professional.

De Bruyne’s mother’s roots mean he could’ve opted to represent Burundi, though it’s understandable why being the centrepiece of Belgium’s ‘golden age’ was more appealing.

After moving to Belgium and having De Bruyne at 18 and his sister Stefanie with Herwig Sr, the family moved to England, where he spent most of his childhood.

De Bruyne’s grandparents live in the London Borough of Ealing, a regular spot for family Christmas celebrations.

But he also spent much time in Belgium and Africa as a child, where his grandfather is a leading oil investor.

De Bruyne’s football career started at his hometown club KVV Drongen in 1997 before he joined Gent two years later.

There you are. Stay with Bitter and Blue as City build toward their Premier League match with the Saints. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.