Manchester City's preseason fixtures have been revealed, with a local fixture and a clash against a City Football Group side pencilled in for the club's summer preparations. A host of exciting academy players are set to be closely watched by the manager, according to reports.
Sam Lee of The Athletic has revealed that City will face Preston North End and ES Troyes in their preseason this summer, with a friendly with Barcelona also scheduled for after the start of the new Premier League season, which is August 14th (Saturday) - reports in Spain claim the match between City and Barcelona is scheduled for August 19th (Thursday). Dates and times for the games with Preston and Troyes are yet to be revealed.
The Athletic's City correspondent reports that City will play the Championship side at the Academy Stadium before travelling to France to play Troyes who were acquired by City Football Group last summer.
Last season, Troyes enjoyed a successful season in the French second division, earning promotion to Ligue 1, which could prove to be an invaluable hub for CFG's talent development endeavours. Troyes have already signed Issa Kabore on loan for the season, and Metinho is expected to follow soon - both players City have signed over the past 12 with immense potential.
20-year-old Kabore was signed from Belgian side KV Mechelen last summer but stayed at the club on loan for the duration of the 20/21 season, the right-back completing a loan move to France earlier this week.
18-year-old Metinho was signed from Brazilian side Fluminense, who announced last month that they had released the midfielder following an agreement reached with CFG that would allow the player to join his new club in Europe. In their statement, Fluminense announced they had developed a great relationship with CFG during the negotiations for Metinho and Kayky, who City announced the signing of in April - confirming the winger would join the club at the end of the Brazilian domestic season.
This would rule the 18-year-old forward out of preseason action under Guardiola, but Sam Lee has provided an insight into which youngsters can be expected to join some of the senior players and be watched closely by the Catalan this summer, with Luke Mbete (CB/17), Romeo Lavia (DM/17), James McAtee (MD/18), and Liam Delap (ST/18) as those mentioned. Cole Palmer (FWD/19) was promoted to the first team permanently last season and will also be included.
One player who could also feature in preseason is Lewis Fiorini (MD/19), who has signed a new 5-year deal at the club, according to MCFC Reserves & Academy, and has been impressing on loan in the Netherlands at NAC Breda. Much of the same can be said for Yan Couto, who spent last season on loan at Girona, winning the Spanish Segunda Divison's right-back of the season award. City signed the 19-year-old Brazilian from Coritiba last summer, beating off strong interest from Barcelona.
Two players who won't be involved in preseason are Adrian Bernabe and Felix Nmecha, who have left the club following the expiration of their deals. MCFC Reserves & Academy report that the club offered the two players new contracts, but both declined. Bernabe has been linked with a move back to Barcelona in the Spanish press, while the next steps for Felix Nmecha, whose brother Lukas is also set to leave the club, are unclear. The pair join goalkeepers Louie Moulden and Daniel Grimshaw in leaving the club following the expiration of their contracts, with the former moving to Wolves and the latter to Blackpool.
Players who won't be involved in Guardiola's preseason plans after completing loan moves for the season include Taylor Harwood-Bellis (CB/19), who has joined Vincent Kompany's Anderlecht, and goalkeepers James Trafford (18) and Gavin Bazunu (19), who have joined Accrington Stanley and Portsmouth, respectively. Tommy Doyle could also join the loanees, but there is nothing concrete regarding that at the moment.
Players like Patrick Roberts, who is still on the book at the club, will probably have their futures sorted before the start of preseason, while the likes of Pablo Moreno (FWD/19) and Yangel Herrera (MD/23) could feature in the preseason squad but are just as likely to have loans or permanent deals in place - especially in the case of Herrera, who is said to be of interest to several clubs. The situations of other youngsters like Claudio Gomes (DM/20) are worth keeping an eye on.
In an interesting development to Guardiola's first-team coaching staff, it's emerged that former Under-18 lead coach Carlos Vicens has been promoted to the first-team coaching staff, with MCFC Reserves & Academy, who initially revealed the change, citing the involvement of more academy players as being the reason for the promotion.
Sam Lee provided further details, revealing that Vicens would be working on set-pieces primarily and providing a link between the first-team and academy, while also revealing that City's current set-piece specialist Nicolas Jover is leaving the club.
Sam Lee went on to chart the remarkable rise of 38-year-old Vicens, who only started working at the club in 2017, on a work experience placement. Last season he guided the U-18s to the Premier League title, which completed a historic treble of Premier League titles across the football club, with the senior men's team, U-23s, and Vicens' U-18 side all taking home the trophies.
Vicens' former position at the U-18s has been taken up by Ben Wilkinson.
Enzo Maresca, who guided the U-23s to the Premier League title, departed the club to join Serie B side Parma in May, could be replaced by Brian Barry-Murphy, who is described as the frontrunner for the job by Jack Gaughan of Mail Sport. Yesterday, Rochdale 'reluctantly' agreed to release Barry-Murphy from his contract at his personal request.
James Ducker of The Telegraph reports that Manchester City will net £11.2million from Jadon Sancho's move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund, with the solidarity payment they're due worth £1.46million added to the income generated through the 15% sell-on clause worth £9.74million.
Ederson has been confirmed as starting in Brazil's Copa America quarter-final clash with Chile - kick-off at 01:00 (BST) on July 3rd (Saturday).
Kevin De Bruyne did not partake in Belgium training today but has travelled with the squad to Munich ahead of the game against Italy tomorrow. Roberto Martinez has said he will until the last minute to decide on whether De Bruyne will play against Roberto Mancini's side.
Written by: @NA1907_
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