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Sky Blue News: Treble Talk, Dealing with West Ham, Aké Extension, and More...

Tuesday headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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Fulham FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester City men are set to host West Ham United in a mid-week clash at the Etihad. The Women are preparing for a weekend match away to Liverpool. Sky Blue News is here with the latest to help you get ready for all the action.

Premier League leaders Man City deserve to win treble - Barcelona’s Xavi - Adriana Garcia - ESPN

City are at the top of the Premier League, one point clear or Arsenal with a game in hand. Pep Guardiola’s side booked their place in the Champions League semifinal with a 4-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich and face holders Real Madrid later this month. They will then take on Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3.

Asked if it would be fair for City to win the treble, Xavi said in Monday’s news conference: “Yes, it would be. For me it’s the best team in the world. They have the best coach and for us, the football they play, is a mirror to look at. It would be a very fair treble.”

Barca suffered an early exit from the Champions League and Europa League but have enjoyed domestic success this season. They beat Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa earlier this year and can clinch the LaLiga title on May 14 when they play at city rivals Espanyol.

The Catalan side are 11 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid with six league games remaining.

“It’s not a miracle but it’s a high-level merit to be where we are at,” Xavi said. “We are in a process of construction. We need to build, and this league is very important for the club. I think we have competed very well. We made good signings so it’s not a miracle. But we said in preseason that we were going to win the title and we are on our way.


Though Gunners have the opportunity to regain top spot on Tuesday evening when they entertain Chelsea, City then return to action at home to West Ham 24 hours later where could maintain control of the title race once more.

With City also in the hunt for success in the Champions League, where we face a mouth-watering semi-final with Real Madrid later this month, and through to a first-ever all-Manchester FA Cup final against United on June 3, it promises to be a thrilling finale to the season.

And for striker Alvarez, he believes the Club are perfectly positioned as we gear up for an intense - and hopefully memorable - final six weeks or so.

“We’re in a great position - this is where we wanted to be at the start of the season,” the Argentine World Cup winner asserted.

“Everyone has put in really good work. We’ve got a lot of confidence.

Leeds United consider shock managerial change ahead of Man City clash as ex-Newcastle & Everton man in frame - Ben McKenna - Manchester World

Leeds United are considering appointing Sam Allardyce to replace Javi Gracia as the Whites battle against Premier League relegation.

The Athletic reported on Monday night the ex-Newcastle, Everton and West Ham boss is a strong contender to become the next Whites manager if Gracia is sacked.

The Spaniard was appointed on a flexible contract earlier this season and won three of his first six games in charge. However, Leeds’ Premier League future hangs in the balance after four losses and one draw in their last five outings.

Those defeats including a 5-1 loss to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 defeat to Liverpool, both at Elland Road, before a damaging 4-1 loss to Bournemouth on Sunday.

Up next for Leeds is a daunting trip to in-form Man City, as Pep Guardiola’s side eye a third-straight Premier League title.

Man City have already shown they can deal with likely West Ham tactic - Isaac Johnson - Manchester Evening News

The Blues have not lost since February 5 and are on for the treble, buoyed by last week’s 4-1 win over title rivals Arsenal before a classy 2-1 win away at Fulham. The Hammers are just four points from the drop zone and would be thrown right into relegation danger with a loss at City.

The schedule of Thursday to Sunday football has had a massive impact on their campaign, albeit they still find themselves in the semi-final of the Europa Conference League. The dream of European glory is jeopardising their Premier League safety.

City also find themselves in the last four of a very different continental competition, although the similarities largely end there - apart from one statistic.

West Ham have conceded just four non-penalty set-pieces this season - a league best. City have conceded two more. Both teams have scored 11 times in this manner, joint fifth-best.

All three of West Ham’s goals at Selhurst Park came from corners but they were otherwise very tame. What is no doubt worrying for David Moyes off the back of those three goals against Palace is that they now travel to a club who last conceded from a set-piece at home on November 22.

City are not impregnable at the Etihad though - they have conceded in each of their last three Premier League home games. But from open play West Ham have been poor.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola ‘not interested in signing Neymar’ - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole

The Brazil international is under contract at the Parc des Princes until June 2025 and a recent report claims that he is planning to hang up his boots at the Parisian outfit.

However, speculation continues to swirl regarding the forward’s future amid interest from a number of top European clubs including Premier League quartet Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Both Man United and Chelsea are said to be considering a summer swoop for Neymar, with interest from the former expected to intensify if a Qatari takeover, led by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, is completed.

Man City and Liverpool, meanwhile, have reportedly join the race for the Brazilian’s signature, with the Citizens believed to be in the market for a new attacker ahead of next season.

Although Neymar is said to be on City’s list of possible targets, El Nacional claims that Guardiola is against the idea of bringing the former Santos youngster to the Etihad Stadium this summer.

The report adds that Guardiola has “vetoed his inclusion” at the club as he believes that the Brazilian’s off-field antics are not suitable for the reigning Premier League champions.

Nathan Ake set to sign long-term Manchester City contract - Nabeel - City Report

Chris Bailey of The National, the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, reports that Ake is set to receive a new contract offer from the club that would keep him at the Etihad Stadium during his peak years after a stellar campaign that has laid the foundation for a treble hunt.

After signing from Bournemouth in 2020 for a reported £41 million, the Dutchman struggled for fitness and game time in his first campaign, and although this improved in his second season, it is really this season that he has become indispensable for Guardiola and the way the team has operated during the impressive winning and unbeaten run.

Chelsea were strongly interested in bringing the Dutchman back to Stamford Bridge in the summer, and City likely would have sold had the Londoners stumped up the asking fee, but the 28-year-old stuck around and has become imperative for City in their pursuit of three major honours, particularly after Joao Cancelo’s loan departure to Bayern Munich.

The Portuguese’s unexpected exit created a gaping hole within Guardiola’s starting eleven, with Rico Lewis and Bernardo Silva filling in at times on the left side of the defence, but it is Ake who has made the position his own, with his performances on the left flank coinciding with the club’s upturn in performances.

And finally... City continue to fund the project with a big haul from the upcoming tour of Asia.

Asia deal set to bank Manchester City significant eight-figure cash boost - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

As part of a series of announcements across their social media channels last month, City confirmed that their preparations for the 2023/24 season would take place in East Asia, with a showpiece tie against La Liga giants Atletico Madrid already confirmed.

Pep Guardiola and his players are set to take on Diego Simeone’s side at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea on Sunday 30th July – one of three fixtures scheduled to take place over the closed season period.

It has further been reported that the reigning Premier League champions, who are in the midst of a treble-hunt this season, will also take on Bundesliga side Bayern Munich in a pre-season friendly in Tokyo – although this is yet to be confirmed.

Now, in fresh details surrounding the jaunt in the far-east, it has been calculated that the Etihad club could secure themselves a healthy eight-figure sum by partaking in matches and commercial activities while in that part of the globe.

That is according to the information of Football Insider, who report that Manchester City expect to earn between £8 million and £10 million from their pre-season tour.

There you are. Stay with Bitter and Blue as we build toward the visit from the Hammers. Sky Blue News is back with more tomorrow.