Here are the Manchester City evening headlines for Sunday, November 29.
Messi urged to remain with Barcelona
Gerard Pique has urged Manchester City transfer target Lionel Messi not to walk out of Barcelona when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The Argentine superstar was keen to quit the Catalan giants in the summer but had missed the deadline to unilaterally end his contract with the club.
That will be immaterial come the end of the current campaign, however, with his deal up this summer.
A move to the Etihad Stadium, where he would reunite with Pep Guardiola, would then become a realistic possibility. But Pique hopes the 33-year-old will be coaxed into remaining at the Camp Nou.
"You will have to ask Leo, I don't know," Pique said when asked if Messi will remain at the Nou Camp at a Q&A session for the CRIS Cancer Foundation.
"We hope he stays. It's a personal decision. We will see, but for as long as he's wearing the Barca shirt, there is always hope. We hope to seduce him to stay for many more years."
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Guardiola’s tactical acumen vital to further success - Begiristain
City director of football Txiki Begiristain believes Pep Guardiola’s tactical flexibility is vital in the club’s continued pursuit of silverware.
The Catalan coach signed a contract extension with City earlier this month, keeping him at the club until, at least, the summer of 2023.
And Begiristain, who has worked with Guardiola at Barcelona and in Manchester, says his close friend and colleague can continue to tactically innovate at the Etihad.
“Pep is really happy and we are really happy with his commitment to this club for the next two years,” he told City’s official website. “He is already working hard as always, thinking how to beat the opponent. I am so happy to see him here.
“I can’t say what (innovations) we will see. It’s always changing. It depends on the opponent. Pep studies a lot and he can see the things we have to change – there are variables.
“We can play with defenders playing wide but we can also play with wingers… Sometimes we have two strikers and we have seen double holding midfielders with a defence of four or sometimes with three.
“The good thing is that there is just not one system we can play. The principles are always there – the build-up and high pressing – but after that, it’s seeing how to beat the opponents this year."
Stats suggest Grealish would improve City
Aston Villa captain and talisman Jack Grealish has starred in the Premier League this season and, as a result, has been linked with a move to the Etihad.
MEN Sport understands City were not interested in the newly-capped England international in the summer, but Guardiola is an admirer of his.
For good reason, too. Grealish has claimed four goals and five assists in the top flight this term, and his underlying numbers have also sharply increased on last season.
Manchester City returned to Premier League action this weekend by blowing Burnley away at the Etihad Stadium.
The Blues already have an excellent record against the Clarets, and they kept up that record on Saturday afternoon with an emphatic 5-0 victory.
Riya Mahrez claimed his first City hat-trick, Benjamin Mendy got his first goal for the Blues, and Ferran Torres scored again.
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His expected goals per 90 stands at 0.30, up from 0.18, while he is averaging more shots on goal (2.87) and getting more of them on target (0.87). He is also claiming 2.6 key passes per 90.
Those numbers are above what Bernardo Silva has posted this term and, if Grealish is able to maintain this form throughout the season, City may consider an approach next summer.