Bernardo Silva believes his Portugal team-mate Bruno Fernandes has the mentality and character to be a success at Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completed a major January transfer window coup by securing goalscoring midfielder Fernandes from Sporting CP.

On his debut, a goalless draw against Wolves at Old Trafford last weekend, Fernandes showed flashes of the form that yielded 28 goals in 50 Primeira Liga appearances from the start of last season.

Manchester City star Silva came through the national team ranks with the former Sampdoria player and is a huge admirer of his qualities.

"I think he is going to adapt [to the Premier League], he has already played in Italy when he was younger, so it's not his first experience abroad," he told Sky Sports.

"I'm happy for him, I'm happy that he's playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I think he's going to do great at Man Utd.

"The best thing about Bruno is his mentality and the way he gives himself to the team 100 per cent and he just goes in every game. It doesn't matter who he's playing against and his mentality and character is the best thing about him.

"The first time I played with Bruno, we were 18 years old, so my first game for Portugal Under-19s was also Bruno's first game for Portugal. Then we played together for the Under-21s, the national team and now we're both in Manchester, so it's great. We're rivals but it's good to have him here.

"Changing is always complicated; you have to adapt to the way your new team plays, your team-mates, the way the manager wants to play, sometimes new systems, so maybe it will take him a few months.

"But I think it's good that he's here and he'll be a great asset for Man Utd - but hopefully not against Man City."

Silva and Fernandes are set to come face to face in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on March 8.

On each City's past two trips across town, a 2-0 Premier League win last season and last month's 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final triumph, Silva opened the scoring.

Manchester City can still shrug off their lacklustre Premier League title defence and enjoy the best season in the club's history, according to Bernardo Silva.

Pep Guardiola's side are a yawning 22 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, a virtually unassailable deficit that could be even bigger the next time they take to the field after Sunday's home match against West Ham was postponed due to the effects of Storm Ciara.

Focus will soon turn towards a mouth-watering Champions League last-16 meeting with Real Madrid, as City travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on February 26 for the first leg.

A Wembley showdown versus Aston Villa on March 1 gives Silva and his team-mates the chance to win a third consecutive EFL Cup, and they remain in the running for back-to-back FA Cups, with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday up next in round five.

The Champions League remains the final frontier, however, and the Portugal playmaker believes glory in Europe's top competition might even top last season's unprecedented domestic treble.

"People are used to Man City winning everything. If we look at the last two and a half seasons, there's not a team in Europe that has won as many trophies as us," Silva told Sky Sports.

"It's not that, because we're not winning one title, the team goes from being one of the best to an average team. If we win the cups and the Champions League, it's the best season this club have ever seen.

"So there is still a lot to fight for, knowing that we still have a difficult task ahead of us."

Nevertheless, Silva was unable to hide his disappointment at the manner in which City have failed to meet Liverpool's relentless challenge in England's top flight.

"I think we got to a point one month ago where we gave up a bit too soon and I think we shouldn't have done that," he said.

"It was not on purpose, it was in our heads. I think everyone was already a bit disappointed to be 10 or 15 points behind them and we felt a bit down. We shouldn't have done it.

"It's difficult because we're a team used to winning and last season we won everything in England. When we don't win a competition, we're upset with ourselves and always want to do better."

Silva recalled City's former knack of snatching vital late goals during his debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium in 2017-18, before adding: "In the important moments, we've not been as lucky as in the past seasons – we always concede in the last minutes, Liverpool always score in the last minutes, and these little details make the difference.

"The team has to try to find the balance. When things go well, not thinking that we're the best ever, and when things go a little bit not as well as we expect, not to think we're the worst team ever."

Manchester City's Premier League clash with West Ham was postponed on Sunday owing to safety fears amid the threat of Storm Ciara.

Sporting fixtures across the United Kingdom - and, indeed, in continental Europe - have fallen victim to the high winds and heavy rain brought by the weather front.

City tweeted confirmation of the cancellation around five hours before the scheduled kick-off time at the Etihad Stadium.

"Due to extreme and escalating weather conditions and in the interests of supporter and staff safety, today's Premier League match against West Ham has been postponed," the tweet read.

Pep Guardiola's side would have been seeking a response to consecutive losses against Manchester United and Tottenham.

Other high-profile events to be called off include the Rhine derby between Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne in the Bundesliga, the entire Eredivisie schedule and both Super League fixtures.

Paris Saint-Germain reportedly have no interest in listening to offers for star Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 21, has repeatedly been linked to Real Madrid, rumours which only intensified after the forward was involved in a bust-up with coach Thomas Tuchel.

But PSG are prepared to make the France international see out his contract, rather than lose one of their star players.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STANDING FIRM OVER MBAPPE AMID MADRID LINKS

PSG will not listen to offers for Mbappe amid links to Real Madrid, according to Marca.

Mbappe is contracted in Paris until 2022 and the Ligue 1 giants are willing to make him see out his deal.

PSG have also tried to extend Mbappe's contract, moves which are set to continue despite his seeming unhappiness at the club.

ROUND-UP

- With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under some pressure at Old Trafford, Mauricio Pochettino has not given up on becoming Manchester United manager ahead of next season, according to the Mirror.

- While Pochettino may arrive, Paul Pogba seems likely to leave United. Tuttosport reports the midfielder and Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala dream of playing together again, with Pogba perhaps set for a return to Turin. Dybala is in contract talks with Juventus with his deal expiring in 2022.

- Jack Grealish seems to know where he wants to be. Goal reports the midfielder is ready to join Manchester United from Aston Villa, although no formal talks have taken place. The Sun says Grealish prefers Manchester United over other clubs, while the Mirror reports Manchester City have joined the race for the Englishman.

- With Luis Suarez set to miss most of the rest of the season due to injury, Barcelona are eyeing a move for … Luis Suarez. El Larguero reports Barcelona have made contact with Real Zaragoza over the forward, who is on loan from Watford. Suarez has scored 14 goals in the Segunda Division this season.

- On loan at Newcastle United from Tottenham, Danny Rose will be watched by Paris Saint-Germain ahead of a possible move at the end of the season, according to The Sun.

Pep Guardiola insisted his contract situation at Manchester City would not impact potential signings in the close-season.

Guardiola has said he intends to honour his deal, which runs until 2021, with the Premier League giants and that would take him into a fifth season at City.

But with City likely needing to strengthen at season's end, Guardiola feels his future will have no affect on possible arrivals.

"That's the not only reason they come here, because I am here. I'd say we have been in contact with others who didn't come when I was here," he told UK newspapers.

"I think the club is big enough and good enough to be attractive for players who want to play in the way we do, or they watch TV and see us and we have played against them.

"They will still want to come because of economic reasons, or because just they want to play for City. I think Man City is not a bad solution for players."

Ahead of hosting West Ham on Sunday, City are 22 points behind leaders Liverpool, but are alive in the Champions League and FA Cup and in the EFL Cup final.

Guardiola remains focused on this season, although he hinted at multiple arrivals before 2020-21.

"I have an idea but I am not ready to think about that while the season is still progressing," he said.

"We have to do something because David Silva is leaving and in some positions we need to strengthen but I don't know how many or how much because the market is always difficult and there are still two or three months to go.

"A lot can change in that time. Look at Vincent Kompany last season. For most of the season he hardly played because of injuries, then he came in for the last couple of months and looked like the best defender in the world, so anything can still happen.

"There is still a lot for us to fight for even if we are too far behind in the league.

"We are in a final in a few weeks, we have the FA Cup, there is second place to aim for to secure qualification for the Champions League next season and two big games coming up against Real Madrid."

Everton's brilliant resurgence under Carlo Ancelotti continued with a comfortable 3-1 win over struggling Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Toffees were in the relegation zone when Marco Silva was sacked in December, but victory against Palace – who have now lost three in a row – leaves Everton just five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Bernard put Everton ahead in the 18th minute when he volleyed home Theo Walcott's delivery and the hosts remained in charge until early in the second half, as Jordan Pickford allowed Christian Benteke's effort to go under him.

Everton were back in front soon after, however – Richarlison darting through the Palace defence before finding the bottom corner.

Palace did threaten another equaliser, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted from close range late on after Richarlison's headed attempt came back off the crossbar, wrapping up a fifth Premier League win in eight matches for Everton. 

At the Amex Stadium, an Adrian Mariappa own goal prevented Watford lifting themselves out of the bottom three, as Brighton and Hove Albion claimed a 1-1 draw.

Abdoulaye Doucoure gave Watford a 19th-minute lead with a fine finish from just outside the area after Aaron Mooy had squandered possession.

There were few other moments of excitement until Brighton levelled 11 minutes from time – Mariappa, under no pressure, emphatically sending an Alireza Jahanbakhsh cross into his own net.

Watford remain in the relegation zone, while Brighton stay three points better off in 15th.

Odion Ighalo will miss Manchester United's training camp in Spain because the club are worried he might not be allowed to return to England.

The former Watford striker has joined United from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season.

But because of issues relating to the coronavirus, which has affected thousands in China and caused hundreds of deaths, United were concerned travel restrictions might be introduced that could affect Ighalo.

Describing their decision as "a precautionary measure", United said there was no guarantee the 30-year-old would have been cleared by UK immigration to re-enter the country.

He was living in China until as recently as last week.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told MUTV: "Odion will stay in Manchester, because since he has come from China in the last 14 days, the news of the virus there [means] we're not sure if he's going to be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again.

"So he's staying here working with a personal coach on an individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well. That's a plus.

"Of course he might have liked to have come with the players and got to know them, but we don't want to take that risk [of potential border restrictions tightening]."

Nigerian Ighalo could make his United debut in the Premier League match at Chelsea on February 17.

Scott McTominay will be in United's travelling party to Spain, Solskjaer confirmed, as the midfielder closes on a return to full fitness after a knee injury.

However, both Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford miss out, as the pair continue to battle back to full health after their respective ankle and back injuries.

Premier League clubs are queuing up to sign Jadon Sancho.

But, Borussia Dortmund will not be rushed in parting with the England teenager.

Dortmund are reportedly determined to make the most of a strong Euro 2020 for the 19-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND WON'T RUSH SANCHO SALE

Borussia Dortmund will take their time over selling in-demand star Jadon Sancho amid links to Manchester United and Chelsea, reports 90min.

Sancho is a player in demand, with Premier League giants United and Chelsea interested in luring the 19-year-old back to England.

Bundesliga outfit Dortmund, however, are keen to maximise Sancho's transfer value after Euro 2020.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona captain Lionel Messi wants to stay at Camp Nu despite his public row with sporting director Eric Abidal, according to Sky Sports News. Amid uncertainty over Messi's future with his contract due to expire in 2021, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner had been linked to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Inter and United.

- Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is unhappy with Gareth Bale's training, reports Marca. Bale – who was linked with a return to former club Tottenham during the January transfer window – and his intensity at training has reportedly angered Zidane.

- Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose is Barcelona's main target, says Marca. With Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele injured, LaLiga champions Barca are hoping to be granted permission to sign a Spain-based player to fill the void.

- Il Mattino claims United are at the front of the que to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The defender has also been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and City.

Juventus are rushing to make a move for United star Paul Pogba, says Tuttosport. United are reportedly resigned to Pogba leaving and former club Juve are keen to bring the Frenchman back to Turin as Madrid also circle.

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal is set to join Chile team-mate Alexis Sanchez at Inter next season, claims former Nerazzurri striker Ivan Zamorano.

Vidal was heavily linked to Antonio Conte's Inter before the January transfer window closed, but a move did not materialise.

Sanchez is on loan at Inter from Manchester United until the end of the season and while the Red Devils plan to bring him back to Old Trafford, Zamorano is optimistic two Chileans will be playing for the Serie A club in 2020-21.

"He [Sanchez] has a contract with Manchester United, but we'll see where he wants to continue playing and where he feels happy," Chilean great Zamorano, who won the 1997-98 UEFA Cup with Inter, told Radio Cooperativa.

"The most important thing is that Alexis enjoy his football, because when he was finding form, he got injured. He didn't play much at Manchester and that meant he arrived not fully fit.

"I would like Sanchez to remain in Milan, especially as in June he'll get the chance to play alongside another Chilean, who will very probably come to the club.

"Let's just say I am optimistic we'll see two Chileans at Inter next season and I have some privileged information on that score.

"We all know what Vidal means for Antonio Conte and I am sure in June the club will intensify its efforts to sign him from Barcelona. Inter fans would be very happy to have Arturo."

 

Leroy Sane needs time to develop confidence in his right knee before returning to match action for Manchester City after a six-month lay-off, Pep Guardiola has said.

The Germany winger suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in the Community Shield clash against Liverpool in August, forcing him out of the game and ending talk of an imminent move to Bayern Munich.

Bayern reportedly remain keen on Sane, with the 24-year-old having impressed for Schalke, City and at international level over the last five years.

City are determined to be careful with a player who is a valuable asset, and although Sane may come into contention for first-team football in the coming weeks, Guardiola will not rush the process.

It seems inconceivable he would be involved against West Ham on Sunday, but Sane may come into the equation for games against Leicester City and Real Madrid later this month.

"He's started training with us," Guardiola said in a news conference.

"When you have an injury, especially like this one for six months … you need to recover the tempo, the rhythm, the confidence in your body, in your knee, don't think about the injury.

"It needs time. It's not like an ankle, for example, or a muscular injury. The injury to the knee always needs time.

"He needs weeks, [what is] important is the surgery was perfect and he's recovering incredibly well, and he will come back hopefully stronger than before, but right now he needs a little bit more time."

Pep Guardiola is shocked Manchester City and Liverpool have traded places in the Premier League and promised his team will strive to find a response.

City looked set for an era of domination when Guardiola led them to Premier League glory with 100 points in the 2017-18 season, following it up with an unprecedented domestic treble last time around.

However, they were pushed all the way by Liverpool in the Premier League in 2018-19, with the 25-point gap between the sides from the previous campaign reduced to a solitary point at the conclusion of a gripping title race.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds have dominated this season, speeding to 73 points by winning 24 of 25 games, and Guardiola finds it difficult to explain how City, who sit second in the table, have fallen so far adrift.

"I think we're a good team. I like the way we've played this season," he said. "We cannot deny the distance is big – 22 points - we didn't expect it honestly at the beginning of the season. But it's the reality.

"We have to accept it. We have to learn about it, but I like my team."

When asked about teams enjoying cycles of success, Guardiola stressed only the men's tennis big three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic appear immune to drop-offs in trophy-winning form.

"Of course cycles change," he said. "It's not eternal except Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. [For] the rest there are cycles. One year ago, people said we were unstoppable, and we were going to maintain this level for four or five years, nobody could beat us.

"I don't know what's going to happen in future. I'm pretty sure we're going to prepare as well as possible to reduce this gap we have against Liverpool.

"Two seasons ago, when we had 100 points we were 25 points in front of them. They reduced the gap last season to one point and this season look what happened. So now the other teams, we have to do it."

Guardiola said his team were free to "do whatever they want" during City's short in-season break, which follows Sunday's match against West Ham.

They will return to action against third-placed Leicester City on February 22, when City will hope to find more of a cutting edge than was evident in last weekend's defeat at Tottenham.

City dominated in north London but could not find a breakthrough before subsiding to a 2-0 loss in the wake of Oleksandr Zinchenko's red card.

"We cannot lose the way we are playing," Guardiola added. "Putting the ball in the net is the most difficult thing in football and we're trying to improve."

Bournemouth striker Joshua King endured a "difficult couple of days" after a potential return to Manchester United failing to materialise, according to Eddie Howe.

United were rumoured to be interested in bringing King back to Old Trafford towards the end of the January transfer window, the club sinking cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.

King, 28, was said to be particularly eager to join United, having made two senior appearances for as a youngster and featured prominently under current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the club's reserves.

Bournemouth were reported to have rejected United's advances and they signed former Watford striker Odion Ighalo instead, with King apparently left feeling "used", according to the Athletic.

Howe accepts King had a tough time coming to terms with the outcome but has urged the Norwegian to take it as a compliment and not dwell on personal matters as Bournemouth face a relegation tussle.

"That was a difficult couple of days for him," Howe told reporters. "But it's a huge compliment and a huge moment for him, to have Manchester United come in and express an interest in him.

"But he's very focused on our current position and this club. He knows we're in a relegation fight; it's no time for him to focus on himself, he knows that, and he's very much a team player.

"So, he's looking forward to being fit and contributing to our battle."

Bournemouth travel to Sheffield United on Sunday sitting just two points above the bottom three, though they go into the contest on the back of successive Premier League wins.

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City will be without Raheem Sterling for "weeks" and he cannot be sure the forward will be fit for the Champions League trip to face Real Madrid.

England international Sterling suffered a hamstring injury in the Premier League defeat at Tottenham on Sunday and will miss this weekend's home match against West Ham.

City have not specified the severity of the damage Sterling has sustained, and Guardiola did not offer any guarantee that the 25-year-old will be ready to return to action before the end of February.

After the West Ham game, City have a short in-season break, with their next match coming against Leicester City on February 22, followed four days later by a clash with 13-time European champions Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

To lose a potential match-winner such as Sterling would be a major blow to City's hopes of beating the LaLiga leaders.

Asked about Sterling's situation, Guardiola told a news conference: "Of course it takes weeks, but we will see before Leicester, Madrid and the rest of the games. I don't know right now.

"It is a problem. [Injuries are] always a problem, but it is what it is."

Guardiola said such injury absences are unfortunate - "especially for the players".

Pep Guardiola has again insisted he does not want Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona despite speculation he could join Manchester City at the end of the season.

A turbulent week at Camp Nou on and off the pitch has seen Messi's future come under scrutiny.

The club captain called out first-team technical secretary Eric Abidal on social media after the former Barca defender suggested some players had downed tools during Ernesto Valverde's final weeks as head coach.

Messi's response, in which he accused Abidal of "dirtying" the squad and urged him to name names in his criticism, has led to talk that he could utilise his option to have his contract cancelled at the end of 2019-20 and walk away from Barca for free.

Thursday's Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Athletic Bilbao has only heightened the uncertainty around Messi's future, with City reportedly monitoring the situation with a view to making him an offer.

Guardiola has always previously maintained he would not bring Messi to Etihad Stadium, though, and the former Barca boss made it clear again on Friday that he expects the 32-year-old to finish his career at Camp Nou.

"Messi is a player for Barcelona," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Sunday's Premier League game against West Ham. 

"He will stay there. That is my wish. I am not going to talk about players at another club.

"I think he will finish his career there."

Sergio Aguero has been named the Premier League's Player of the Month for a record seventh time, while Jurgen Klopp takes home the managers' gong for on an unprecedented fifth occasion in a single season.

Manchester City striker Aguero was in lethal form throughout January, scoring six times and registering an assist from just three matches.

In doing so, Aguero became the Premier League's highest-scoring foreign player, with his hat-trick in the 6-1 hammering of Aston Villa taking him beyond Thierry Henry's record of 175.

That treble also propelled him above Alan Shearer's haul of 11 hat-tricks, as Aguero set a new record.

Aguero also scored a brace in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and got the only goal of the game as City beat Sheffield United 1-0.

Having previously been tied with Steven Gerrard and Harry Kane on six Player of the Month awards, Aguero is now out in front on his own – the 31-year-old beating out competition from Alisson, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson, Ayoze Perez and Jack Stephens.

Klopp oversaw five successive wins in January to continue Liverpool's ominous march towards a first top-flight crown in 30 years.

It is the fifth time this term he has won the award, setting a new record for wins in a single season, taking that honour from Pep Guardiola.

Klopp has now won the award eight times, a haul beaten by only Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes.

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