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Manchester City round-up: Including Meppen-Walters plea and Toure return

Yaya Toure

This week’s round up of news views and rumours relating to Manchester City.

Breaking news reports today are that Manchester City youngster Courtney Meppen-Walter has pleaded guilty to careless driving in a tragic incident, which caused the deaths of Kulwant Singh and Ravel-Kaur Singh on September 1st 2012.

The siblings were killed when their car collided with 18-year-old Meppen-Walter’s on Bury New Road in Manchester.

Meppen-Walter, who had yet to make an appearance for City’s first-team, appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and is now due to be sentenced on February 28th.

In team news, Yaya Toure and his brother Kolo have returned from the African Cup of Nations. The City ‘talisman’ has asserted his belief that City can still retain the Premier League title this season.

“It only takes a couple of results to go our way and we're right back in it,” insisted the Ivorian.

City and England stopper Joe Hart has urged his teammates that there is now ‘no room for error’ in the title race, after City’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool last weekend.

“We have to win every game and not drop any points. We have had too many draws,” said the City number 1.

City hosted Liverpool at the Etihad last Sunday in a match that ended a 2-2 draw. Liverpool enjoyed 54% of possession and scored two goals via former City protégé Daniel Sturridge and England captain Steven Gerrard. City’s reply was two goals Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero.

Roberto Mancini asserted his belief after the game that the referee had favoured the Reds in his decisions on the day, and missed a ‘bad foul’ on City captain Vincent Kompany.

City expect to have Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany both back in the squad for selection this weekend’s trip to St Mary’s where they’ll face Southampton.

In transfer news, The Express are reporting that Manchester City are set to ‘battle’ in the chase to sign Napoli striker Edinson Cavani this summer.

According to City defensive coach, Roberto Mancini is interested in bringing Cavani to the Etihad at the end of this season, but he conceded that the Premier League champions will face strong competitions from Europe’s elite clubs.

City will definitely have competition for Cavani,” said Angelo Gregucci.

Reports have also surfaced that City have ‘fixed their sights’ on Sevilla star Alvaro Negredo who could come in to replace potential outgoings Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko at Eastlands.

The Express are also reporting that Fiorentina star Stefan Jovetic is part of City’s summer ‘rebuilding’ plans.

According to the story, Jovetic is intended to replace Mario Balotelli who departed for AC Milan in January.

Balotelli scored a brace for AC Milan on his debut after his £22 million move from City.

The City boss explained his decision to sell Balotelli as a ‘difficult one’ but the ‘right one’.

“We are sad for this but this is football. It was difficult, it was only my decision,” Mancini admitted.

City have also been linked with a move for Brazilian striker Hulk but as we havee assessed, the deal is unlikely to be a sensible option for City for on-pitch and off-pitch reasons.

Meanwhile, The Belfast Telegraph asserts that City are ‘holding back’ their riches for Jose Mourinho to spend, amid speculation that Mancini could be replaced at the end of the season.

Today’s gossip pages concern the potential transfer of former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to City, as The Guardian reports.

City, along with big-spending Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint-Germain, have been ‘warned by UEFA that they will not be exceptions to the proposed Financial Fair Play regulations.

City have responded to their FFP warning from UEFA by ‘cooling fears’ over the new regulations imminent implementation.

The Manchester Evening News reports that City are confident they can meet the requirements.

image: © marc_tacoma

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