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Sky Blue News: New Director, Madley Official, KDB Boost, and More...

Fresh headlines as we slide into the weekend.

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Switzerland v Denmark - Women’s International Friendly Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester City are running down the Premier League title and look to get three points closer when Leeds United come for a visit. The women have another crucial match away as they head to Liverpool in hopes of catching WSL leaders Manchester United. Sky Blue News is here with all the latest to get you ready

Man City duo up for Premier League Player of the Month award with Liverpool, Aston Villa & Newcastle stars - Michael Plant - Manchester World

The Blues enjoyed a superb run last month and won all five games over April - against Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester City, Arsenal and Fulham - scoring 17 goals in the process. Haaland was responsible for seven of those strikes in a month that saw him equal the record for the most goals in a single Premier League campaign, while he also provided two assists.

As for De Bruyne, he scored in the Liverpool win and netted an important brace as City beat title-rivals Arsenal 4-1 last week. The Belgian also provided an assist in all four appearances last month, but missed the Fulham trip with a knock.

Incredibly, De Bruyne has never won the Premier League Player of the Month award, and somewhat surprisingly, Haaland has only claimed the accolade once this season. City’s no.9 picked up August’s edition, with Marcus Rashford (3), Miguel Almiron, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka also winning awards this season.

Also nominated for April’s prize is Liverpool’s Diogo Jota, who ended the month by scoring an injury-time winner against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson have been selected by the Premier League as candidates, with the latter scoring eight goals despite starting just two matches.


Nielsen will take charge of coach and player development across the women’s first team set-up, while leading on player recruitment across the entirety of the women and girls’ pathway at the Academy Stadium.

Head Coach Gareth Taylor and Girls’ Academy Technical Director Jayne Ludlow will work directly under the Dane, with him then reporting into Managing Director Gavin Makel who will continue to head up overall business operations for Manchester City Women.

He arrives in Manchester boasting a lengthy and impressive resume having spent a decade in the professional game on the international stage, overseeing the development of Denmark’s U18s before making the switch to his homeland’s women’s senior side in 2013.

Impressing as a coach during his four years in charge, his time with the team culminated in them reaching the final of the 2017 UEFA Women’s European Championships where they were narrowly beaten by the Netherlands in a six-goal thriller.

Aston Villa and Brighton among six Premier League teams eyeing move for Man City midfielder as fresh contract talks lined up - Harry Winters - City Xtra

The 20 year-old, who was recently named Young Player of the Year at Sheffield United, helped the Blades return to the top-flight, as they secured automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

McAtee was alongside fellow Manchester City loanee Tommy Doyle at Bramall Lane, with the Yorkshire club also reaching the Emirates FA Cup semi-finals, where they were knocked-out by Pep Guardiola’s Blues.

The Salford-born midfielder is expected to return to the Etihad Stadium at the end of the current campaign, with City reportedly preparing to offer the 20 year-old a new contract after his breakthrough season in the Sky Bet Championship.

City are set to hold contract talks with the midfielder according to Simon Jones, with Pep Guardiola “delighted” by McAtee’s ability to have succesfully overcome some early difficulties at Sheffield United.

Amid uncertainty surrounding the futures of both Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva, City reportedly believe McAtee could step up again, with the youngster having previously made six first-team appearances for the Blues.

Andy Madley appointed as referee for Manchester City vs Leeds United - Adwitya Jha - City Report

After a momentous win against West Ham on Wednesday, which saw Erling Haaland become the highest-scoring individual in a Premier League season and Manchester City score their 1000th goal under Pep Guardiola, City now turn their focus towards Leeds United as they host the Yorkshire side at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, May 6 at 3 pm (BST). Andy Madley will be the referee in charge of the game, as City will look to build a four-point gap between themselves and Arsenal.

Andy Madley

Madley will take charge of his eighth match involving City. The Blues have had a decent record in games with Madley in charge, with five wins, one draw, and one loss in the seven previous games under his supervision. Despite the overall record seeming rosy, City have won only one of the three games the Yorkshireman has taken charge of this season.

City’s previous games under Madley this season have been a 1-0 away defeat to Tottenham, a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Everton, and a 4-0 thrashing of Southampton at the Etihad. The 39-year-old referee has never awarded a spot kick either in favour or against City in any of the previous seven games.

Madley has taken charge of 22 Premier League games this season, handing out 78 yellow cards and three reds, averaging 3.7 cards per game.

Rico Lewis close to new Manchester City deal - Graeme Bailey - 90 min

18-year-old Lewis made his league debut in August and has progressed to become an important part of Pep Guardiola’s squad. He has featured in nearly 20 games this season, both on the right and left of City’s defence as well as in midfield in their new 3-2-4-1 system.

Lewis’ progress has been recognised by England too - he made his Under-21 debut in March and it is felt he could be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2024.

Guardiola is understood to regard Lewis as the heir apparent to stalwart Kyle Walker, who is entering the final year of his contract at City and has been linked with a summer move away from the club.

Walker himself has been full of praise for Lewis and recently spoke on Man City’s official podcast about his young colleague.

“I think Rico’s unbelievable, I think his brain and how his brain works, for a young player, is fantastic. He’s going to be under pressure, he’s going to have setbacks. I’ve always said to any youngster that I’ve spoken to, it’s about the top 10 per cent,” said Walker.

Man City get Kevin De Bruyne injury boost ahead of Leeds and Real Madrid fixtures - Isaac Johnson - Manchester Evening News

Kevin De Bruyne is back in Manchester City training following a two-game absence. The Belgian missed the wins over Fulham and West Ham due to a leg knock having played a starring role in last month’s crucial 4-1 win over title rivals Arsenal.

His two goals helped City place the title destiny in their own hands again with the club still on course for the treble. The 31-year-old’s return to training comes as a huge boost for the Blues who face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday after Leeds on Saturday.

The Whites are under new management after Javi Garcia was replaced by Sam Allardyce for the final four matches as the Yorkshire outfit battles against relegation. City are expected to null any new boss bounce and will be buoyed by the potential return of De Bruyne.

And finally... City Football Group have brought another club into the fold.

Bahia confirmed as 13th club in City Football Group portfolio - Stu Robarts - Sportcal

CFG has taken on 90% of Bahia’s newly created holding company, with 10% retained by the club.

Bahia has said the deal and new company formation took over a year of work between the two parties to put together. It was passed by a vote of club members on December 3 with 99% in favor.

CFG will now work with the club to develop a multi-year strategy for growing and strengthening Bahia on and off the field.

Among the initial priorities are said to be strengthening all of the club’s teams, investing at the grassroots level to develop future talent, bringing CFG’s knowledge and technology to all levels of operations at the club, ensuring the men’s senior team is consistently among the best clubs in Serie A and qualifying for continental competitions, and achieving financial sustainability.

Bahia men’s senior team has previously won two national titles and fifty state championships among its honors, while its senior women’s team has six state championship titles to its name.

The club currently sits 15th in the men’s top-tier Brasileirão and ninth in the women’s top-tier Brasileirão Feminino.

There you have it Cityzens. Here’s to a wonderful weekend ahead. Stay with Bitter and Blue throughout for all the latest. Follow @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter for all the latest news and reactions. Sky Blue News returns Monday with more headlines.