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Sky Blue News: Pep Wins MotS, Bunny Extends, Transfer Talk, and More...

Headlines from Bitter and Blue on your Wednesday.

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Brentford FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Manchester City are now just three days from their first FA Cup final since 2019. Awaiting the Champions of England when they arrive at Wembley will be bitter rival Manchester United. Sky Blue News is back with the latest headlines to get you ready for an epic clash in the capitol.

Sergio Aguero names two teams who will challenge Man City for title next season - John McDougall - Manchester Evening News

City wrapped up their fifth top-flight title in the space of six seasons recently under Pep Guardiola. The Blues chased down and overtook Arsenal as the Gunners faltered in the closing stages and City retained their status as champions.

City finished the season five points ahead of Mikel Arteta’s side, after the Gunners had spent much of the season at the summit and looked on course for their first Premier League title since the Invincibles of 2004. City, however, overtook the Gunners to ensure that did not come to pass.

Aguero won the Premier League on five occasions with City before departing in 2021. He then joined Barcelona but retired a short time after moving to Spain on medical advice.

Looking ahead to the 2023/24 campaign, Aguero believes City will be a big candidate for the title again next season. But he believes second-placed Arsenal and a resurgent United who finished third in Erik ten Hag’s first campaign in charge will be the biggest challenges to his old team in their quest for a sixth title in seven years.


The City boss has claimed the award for the fourth time in his seventh campaign at the Etihad Stadium.

He guided City to our third Premier League title in a row and a fifth in six years, as well as securing places in the final of the FA Cup and Champions League.

After trailing Arsenal for much of the season, City clinched the title with three matches to spare following a 12-game winning streak.

Guardiola also won the award after title-winning campaigns in 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2020/21.

Manchester City: how Pep Guardiola’s leadership style formed a squad of champions - Sarthak Mondal - The Conversation

Guardiola has created a powerful identity at Manchester City. His leadership at the club can be compared to the “no dickheads” philosophy of New Zealand’s national rugby union team, the All Blacks. It is based on the belief that the collective culture of a team can be spoiled by one selfish mindset.

This was demonstrated recently in Guardiola’s decision to loan full-back Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich during the winter transfer window. In January and February, journalists were speculating about the body language and mood of the players in the City dressing room.

One of those players was Cancelo, who has admitted to feeling unhappy if he didn’t start every game. When Cancelo requested to leave, Guardiola was quick to oblige because he put the team above its individual members. His staff believe this was a crucial decision in improving team harmony.

Research shows that measuring the effect of a leader on organisational performance is a challenging task. This is because there are multiple factors that can cause a positive or negative impact. But without doubt, while Manchester City had won Premier League titles before the arrival of Guardiola, his leadership has transformed the team.

Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw Extends Deal with Manchester City to 2026 - Emmanuel Odey - Bitter and Blue

The Jamaican has been in fine goalscoring form since arriving at the academy Stadium at the beginning of last season. Hence in recognition of her efforts and to continue the good working relationship, both parties have agreed on a contract extension that will see the player continue at the club until 2026.

“I’m delighted to continue my journey with this amazing group. Everyone made me feel welcome from the first day I came here. I enjoy the way we play and I’m at a stage now where I understand the way we play and I can only get better and grow.”

“I’ve always said Manchester feels like home away from home too. I enjoy coming into the City ground every day and training with the group, vibing with the girls and I also have family here, so Manchester has felt like home ever since I arrived. I just want to thank our fans for everything, all the love and support they’ve given me since I arrived. I’ll just try my best to continue repaying them on the football pitch.”

To say the 26-year-old has been trying her best is an understatement. She scored 20 WSL goals this term and with an additional seven assists finished with the joint most goal contributions in the WSL, alongside Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly.

Manchester City preparing to rival Liverpool for Bayern Munich star after Jude Bellingham transfer blow - Harry Winters - City Xtra

Bernardo Silva remains of interest to Paris Saint-Germain while Gundogan is out of contract at the end of current campaign and is yet to agree a new deal with the Premier League champions, amid continued links to Barcelona.

City were hopeful of signing Borussia Dortmund and England teenager Jude Bellingham this summer, however the 19 year-old is closing in on a move to Real Madrid, a notable blow to Manchester City’s summer plans.

The Blues have started looking at alternative midfield signings, and according to Tom Hopkinson at the Mirror, are preparing to rival Liverpool for Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch.

The Dutchman is claimed to be on Manchester City’s list of potential midfield signings, however Liverpool are keen to bring the 21 year-old to Anfield this summer, report the Mirror.

Manchester City show concrete interest in signing ‘top talent’ – Pep and Txiki want to ‘bring him to England’ - Naveen Ullal - Sport Witness

Darvich’s contract expires in 2024 and his future remains open at the moment. Freiburg U19 have been relegated while their U23 side are playing in the third division.

A jump to the U23 side would be attractive for the teenager if there’s a realistic prospect for his development.

He’s managed by Leaderbrok, who also represent Ferran Torres, who joined Barcelona from Manchester City in January 2022. They are looking for the right project for Darvich to continue his career development.

Sport 1 didn’t take into account Manchester City won’t be able to bring Darvich to England until he’s 18 years old because of Brexit, where clubs in the UK cannot sign players until they reach that age.

And finally... Kyle Walker is still fast. Very fast.

The 10 fastest Premier League players of 2022/23 - Ben Green - Squawka

There are some players who are so good at manipulating space to their advantage that they don’t need pace, like Sergio Busquets or Luka Modric. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with that ethereal perception of time and space. Some need the burners to survive in the game.

The Premier League is no different. For every Joao Moutinho who looks like he’s trudging through treacle but can set the pace of a game just from his vision and awareness, there’s an Adama Traore, a Road Runner who pings it past defenders and shows them a clean pair of heels.

His blurry-eyed acceleration has made him a deadly proposition in the Premier League. But he isn’t the only speedster. Looking at the highest ‘top speeds’ data — kindly provided by Opta — covering the Premier League this season, we’ve had a look at the 10 fastest players.

Incredibly, Traore doesn’t actually make the cut…

There you have it. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest form treble-chasing City. Sky blue News returns tomorrow with more headlines.