Manchester City latest: Midfielder linked with Italy move and legend's tribute

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Rejuvenated Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has cited the faith shown in him by Manuel Pellegrini as a reason for his pre-season form.

The Bosnian was widely believed to be leaving the Etihad this summer. But instead – and in spite of two new arrivals up front – the former Wolfsburg man has been City’s most in-form striker.

Following his two goals in yesterday’s 5-3 win over AC Milan in the Audi Cup, Dzeko has praised the impact of his new boss.

I feel different, better,” he told City TV. “I feel I have more confidence, the manager gives me more confidence. That is an important thing.”

Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic may be the headline names, but Dzeko looks ready for a headline season.

Not that Pellegrini was completely happy with yesterday’s victory.

At one point his side were 5-0 up and looked set to completely destroy their illustrious opponents. But three quick goals saw City pegged back; not something the Chilean wants to see repeated.

It’s better that this happens now though rather than in the Premier League,” he said, “so we can sort out these things before it starts.”

Pellegrini has received praise from an unlikely source, with former City striker Roque Santa Cruz backing him to succeed.

The Paraguayan played under Pellegrini at Malaga and knows first-hand what City’s players and fans can expect.

He has great qualities when it comes to managing so many stars,” Santa Cruz said.

The way that he is as a person – relaxed and calm – will make players feel important and part of the City project.”

From the way the club has started their pre-season that certainly seems to be the case.

One player continuing to be linked with a move away is Gareth Barry, with Napoli now said to be interested in the midfielder.

While Pellegrini has previously said he wants two players for every position, the England international may seek fresh opportunities to be a first choice elsewhere.

And finally, the Manchester Evening News reports that City fans are keen for one of the Etihad Stadium’s stands to be renamed in honour of former goalkeeper Bert Trautmann – who died last month after suffering a heart attack.

It is one of a number of suggestions from those keen for the legendary ‘keeper to be honoured by the club he served so well.

image: © Gene Hunt

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