Liam Delap will remain part of Pep Guardiola's first-team plans after making a goalscoring senior debut in Manchester City's 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the EFL Cup.

Delap, who is the son of former Stoke City favourite Rory, was an unused substitute for City's opening 3-1 Premier League win at Wolves.

With Sergio Aguero sidelined due to a knee injury and Gabriel Jesus rested as the only remaining specialist striker in Guardiola's squad, the 17-year-old was handed a start at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

He duly opened the scoring in the 18th minute, showing pace and power to latch on to Phil Foden's throughball and clip a brilliant left-footed finish into the top right corner.

Foden netted the winner 15 minutes from time after Sam Surridge found a quick response to Delap's strike.

Speaking at a post-match news conference, Guardiola pointed to the example of Foden, who also made his debut at 17 but had to be patient in his quest to become a first-team regular.

"We see in training how good a finisher he is," the City manager said of Delap. Now he has to be calm and keep working.

"We are delighted with his performance - he played really well.

"The situation that we have right now is we have just 13 players available in the first team. We need players from the academy, not just in training sessions.

"With the problems we have up front, Liam will stay with us. We'll use him but we cannot forget how we spoke about Phil in previous seasons."

Delap shone brightest in a youthful City line-up, that featured Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis at centre-back, Tommy Doyle in midfield and playmaker Adrian Bernabe at left-back.

The latter endured a miserable outing and left the field on a stretcher before half-time.

Afterwards, attention turned back towards Delap and Guardiola was keen to praise City's academy production line, which churns under the watchful eye of former England winger Jason Wilcox.

"He is just 17, he has a lot of things to improve. They need their own time, we cannot anticipate the process of each young player," he added.

"Congratulations to the academy for all the guys that are involved, scouting to recruit these players and all the managers in the academy.

"At the end I have the finished product, the last steps, but before there are a lot of players working for this. Jason Wilcox is now the boss in the academy who helps us to have these players."

Having stayed in contention for a fourth consecutive EFL Cup success, City host in-form Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Liam Delap gave Manchester City a tantalising glimpse of their future before the EFL Cup holders were forced to scrap for a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth in round three.

Delap, the 17-year-old son of former Stoke City favourite Rory, has sparked plenty of excitable talk through his explosive performances for City's youth teams and he wasted little time when it came to making an impression on his senior debut.

Pace, power and a dead-eyed finish in the 18th minute had Pep Guardiola celebrating with delight, but the City boss soon had a furrowed brow as Sam Surridge brought the Championship side level.

Flimsy defending and a failure to create regular clear chances saw Guardiola send for the cavalry in Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, with the winner arriving in fortuitous fashion when Foden scuffed a shot into the turf and in after Riyad Mahrez's drive came back off the post.

Foden was one of three players retained from the City side that beat Wolves 3-1 in their Premier League opener and the England midfielder slipped a cute pass to Mahrez in the 16th minute, Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers saving at his near post.

Foden was the provider again two minutes later, with Delap powering past Jack Simpson and clipping a brilliant left-footed finish into the top corner.

City's other debutant, Zack Steffen, was picking the ball out of his net as Bournemouth found a swift, well-worked equaliser - Surridge firing a low shot across the United States international.

The hosts resumed with renewed purpose, Mahrez going close, but Bournemouth continued to threaten a disjointed defence on the counter-attack.

Surridge twice broke through - a combination of Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Eric Garcia, then a wildly sliding Steffen denying him.

Guardiola had seemingly seen enough and sent on De Bruyne and Sterling in place of holding midfielders Rodri and Tommy Doyle after the hour.

But it was Foden who decisively showed his poaching instincts 15 minutes from time.

Surridge could have sent the tie to penalties but glanced wastefully wide in the 87th minute.

Ferran Torres was primed for his full Manchester City debut on Thursday after he was named in a youthful line-up for the EFL Cup tie with Bournemouth.

City started their season with a 3-1 win over Wolves on Monday, with Torres – a £21.1million signing from Valencia – coming on as a late substitute for his maiden outing.

The winger was then handed his first start by Pep Guardiola against the Cherries, with a host of youngsters included in a much-changed starting XI.

Only Kyle Walker, Rodri and Phil Foden retained their places from the side which started at Molineux.

Adrian Bernabe and Liam Delap – son of former Stoke City long-throw specialist Rory – were also handed starts, while Eric Garcia, who has been linked with a move away from the club, and academy product Taylor Harwood-Bellis lined up in defence.

Tommy Doyle impressed in a handful of cup appearances last term, and he was named in midfield alongside Foden, with Riyad Mahrez given the nod out wide. There was also a debut for goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

Nathan Ake was on the bench against his former club, with stars Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne also in reserve for the holders.

Borussia Dortmund have signed 16-year-old forward Jamie Bynoe-Gittens from Manchester City on a long-term contract.

Sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed the arrival of the City academy player, who has been capped by England at Under-17 level, during a media conference on Thursday.

Bynoe-Gittens follows in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho, who was 17 when he left the Premier League giants for Dortmund in 2017.

Sancho departed City for a clearer path to first-team football and has become of the hottest properties in Europe after scoring 30 goals and setting up another 35 in 79 Bundesliga appearances.

"Jamie Bynoe-Gittens has joined us, and we are delighted to have him at in our youth set-up. He will initially play with the Under-19s," said Zorc.

"Our scouting department have done a fantastic job! He is a highly talented wide player, who will get the chance to develop at his own pace in our youth teams.

"We don't want expectations to be raised too high right from the start.

"He is still a year younger than Jadon was then … the hope is that at some point he will be promoted to the professional team."

Bynoe-Gittens becomes the third Englishman in Dortmund's ranks, alongside Sancho and 17-year-old playmaker Jude Bellingham.

Bayern Munich or Barcelona?

Two of the world's biggest clubs are going head-to-head for Ajax sensation Sergino Dest.

And the club from LaLiga are reportedly favourites to land the teenager.

 

TOP STORY – DEST WANTS BARCA

Ajax full-back Sergino Dest has pushed aside an offer from Bundesliga and Champions League holders Bayern Munich as he looks to join Barcelona, according to Sport.

Bayern and LaLiga giants Barca are both interested in the 19-year-old United States international.

But Dest has his heart set on Barca, where a principle agreement is reportedly in place between the player and Ajax.

 

ROUND-UP

Tottenham and Inter are in talks regarding centre-back Milan Skriniar, reports Sky Sport Italia. Skriniar is wanted by Jose Mourinho's Spurs but the Premier League club are unwilling to match Inter's £55million (€60m) valuation. Benfica's Ruben Dias remains a serious alternative.

- Diario AS claims Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez is wanted by Serie A trio Napoli, Roma and Milan.

- The same outlet also reports that Manchester United and Arsenal are two possible destinations for out-of-favour Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. Former club Lyon, Rennes and Inter have also been linked.

Aston Villa are eyeing Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on loan, according to the Telegraph. Barkley is down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

- Kicker says Barca and Roma have joined Paris Saint-Germain in looking at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who looks set to leave London.

Manchester City are still pursuing Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez, says the Daily Star. An alternative to Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, City's interest in Gimenez could be scuppered as the Uruguay international isolates and recovers from coronavirus.

- Despite already signing Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, Le10 Sport claims David Beckham's Inter Miami remain keen on free agent Edinson Cavani. However, the former PSG forward is still hoping to remain in Europe.

Atletico Madrid rejected a £78million (€85m) offer from Manchester City for Jose Gimenez, the LaLiga club's president Enrique Cerezo confirmed.

Gimenez, 25, has been linked with a move to City and AS reported earlier this month that Atletico had turned down a big-money offer from the Premier League club.

Cerezo confirmed the LaLiga giants had received the offer from City, but wanted to keep the defender – who tested positive for coronavirus on Monday – at the Wanda Metropolitano.

"We did receive the offer," he told El Transistor.

"But Gimenez is a magnificent player and we are interested in having magnificent players in the team."

After finishing third in LaLiga last season, Atletico – who have agreed a deal to sign Barcelona star Luis Suarez – begin their new campaign at home to Granada on Sunday.

While the season is set to begin behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cerezo is hopeful fans will be back sooner rather than later.

"We are hopeful that the public will be able to return to the stadiums before the end of the season," he said.

"It is a difficult issue to control, but I think with the controls we have and with the good behaviour of the world of football, we will be able to continue this campaign well."

Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer have made the shortlist for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award for the 2019-20 campaign.

Manchester City playmaker De Bruyne, who recently won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award, is in the final three along with two Bayern Munich stars who helped their side to the treble last season.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk won the honour in the previous season, finishing ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

None of those three are on the shortlist this time, though, and whoever comes out on top will be a first-time winner.

Neuer missed only one game in Bayern's treble season and kept six Champions League clean sheets, while Lewandowski netted 55 goals in 47 appearances for Hansi Flick's team.

De Bruyne, meanwhile, produced a record-equalling 20 assists in the Premier League for City, adding 13 goals.

The final order of the top three is yet to be revealed, but UEFA has confirmed the occupants of positions four to 10.

Barcelona forward Messi came in at tie for fourth with Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, while Juventus attacker Ronaldo was down in 10th spot.

Thomas Muller (6th), Kylian Mbappe (7th), Thiago Alcantara (8th) and Joshua Kimmich (9th) were the others who featured in the top 10.

Ronaldo has won the honour three times since it was first awarded in 2011, while Messi has claimed it twice.

Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery, Luka Modric and Van Dijk were the other victors, with the award voted for by coaches and journalists.

Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard and Pernille Harder are up for the Women's Player of the Year accolade in the 2019-20 awards.

Bayern head coach Flick, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann are on the shortlist for Men's Coach of the Year.

The winners will be announced at the Champions League group stage draw ceremony on October 1.

Messi and Ronaldo also won the previous version of the award - UEFA Club Footballer of the Year – once each. That award was replaced after the 2009-10 season, when Diego Milito came out on top.

Pep Guardiola hailed Kevin De Bruyne's influence upon an injury-ravaged Manchester City squad after he starred in Monday's 3-1 win over Wolves.

Guardiola headed to Molineux with seven senior players unavailable but his team turned in a sparkling display against opponents who beat them twice last season.

De Bruyne was City's star man, winning and converting a 20th-minute penalty before having a hand in goals for Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

"Since we came back after the games for the national teams, every training session he has incredible commitment," Guardiola, who saw Raul Jimenez briefly reduce the deficit in the 78th-minute, told a post-match news conference.

"Right now he is an incredibly important player for us. He always was, but in the situation we are in right now, it is so important.

"He took an incredible penalty, he took it perfectly. Then there is the amount of assists, how he runs. He played really well, like all the team.

"He likes to play football, he doesn't feel the pressure and likes to compete at a high standard."

Ilkay Gundogan's positive test for coronavirus compounded Guardiola's selection problems heading into City's opening Premier League game of the season, with Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Eric Garcia all injury absentees.

Aymeric Laporte only returned to training last Friday following his own COVID-19 positive, although John Stones and new signing Nathan Ake were assured for the most part in the centre of defence.

Guardiola confirmed a team predominantly made up of academy players will launch City's bid for a fourth consecutive EFL Cup against Bournemouth on Thursday, with Leicester City up next in the Premier League on Sunday.

"Most of them are for after the [October] international break," he said when considering when asked when the injured players might return. "After that they’ll be ready.

"Laporte is not injured but he had just one training session in two months. Eric Garcia had 16 stitches, that is why he is not here but maybe for the next game he will be fit.

"The others I think after the international break – Joao, Bernardo, Oleks and Sergio will be longer.

"This is the situation. Maybe in the next days it will change a little bit."

The strain of those considerations appeared to be weighing upon Guardiola during a largely terse briefing, but he still found time to praise Foden, who made a goalscoring return to club action after being banished from the England squad earlier this month for breaching coronavirus protocols in Iceland.

"He played really well," he added.

"Apart from scoring the goal, in the first half he was not much involved. In the second half he played incredibly well.

"Since day one he trained really well. In all the time he played with us, if we decide to play five minutes or 90 minutes it doesn’t matter.

"He has a big impact and makes great contributions to the team. Today was not an exception."

Kevin De Bruyne was already looking towards another title tussle with Liverpool after Manchester City won at Wolves, adding that team glory ranks above his personal exploits despite a standout performance.

City won the Premier League in 2017-18 and 2018-19, holding off the Reds down the home stretch in the latter season, but then relinquished their crown to Jurgen Klopp's team last term.

Liverpool registered six points from the opening two matches of their title defence before Pep Guardiola's men even took to the field, with City making a late start due to their involvement in the Champions League in August.

However, De Bruyne broke the deadlock at Wolves on Monday, had a hand in Phil Foden's second and then, after Raul Jimenez halved the deficit, supplied an assist for Gabriel Jesus in stoppage time.

The reigning PFA Players' Player of the Year, who created six chances in all, did not shy away from the challenge before City.

"It's obviously hard," De Bruyne told Sky Sports. "It's a little bit of a weird season, but we know we have to start well.

"Wolves have been a bit of a bogey team for us in the last couple of seasons, so to come here and do this performance is encouraging, because we're missing a few players.

"I think the team played really well. The only thing we really can do is play game by game. We know Thursday [Bournemouth in the EFL Cup] is another one and we'll try to do our best.

"We know if the pace is the same as the last three years, it's going to be a hard job. We want to fight against [Liverpool], we need to fight against them.

"I think we make each other better and that, for me, is what sport is all about."

De Bruyne had 20 league assists last season, tying Thierry Henry's record, and was awarded his first of the new campaign after tackling Willy Boly before Jesus netted.

Yet individual statistics are of little concern to the midfielder, who has also scored 14 times since the start of last season - his 35 goal involvements the most of any Premier League player in that time.

"I don't know if my output is going to be more," he said. "I'm perfectly happy with the way the second goal goes. That's why we have so many attacking players - so I can slot them in and they can do the rest.

"I would prefer to have five goals and five assists and go away with the title. You can contribute in a lot of ways.

"I'm a midfielder, I know these days it's a lot about statistics, but I try to set myself [the goal] to play the best that I can for the team.

"Obviously, if I have good numbers, it's going to help myself, it's going to help the team. But even if I play badly, I need to try to contribute in one way or another. That's what I'm trying to do."

Speaking to Radio Catalunya in 2017, Pep Guardiola took a self-deprecating tone when considering his feted coaching reputation.

You see, life is easy with Lionel Messi in your dressing room.

"The greatest advantage of having Leo is that the other 10 players know they have Leo on their team and that sooner or later he will do it," he said.

"I was his coach and we were planning and I thought, 'We will get the ball to Messi and that's that, we will score.'"

At the start of this month, it briefly looked like Guardiola would be able to unfurl this approach at Molineux in Manchester City's Premier League season opener against Wolves.

Of course, Messi concluded an exit from Camp Nou was not viable and a fantasy football tonic to a dispiriting 2019-20 in east Manchester was taken off the table.

Nevertheless, during Monday's impressive 3-1 win over opponents that have tended to give his team fits, Guardiola settled on an update of his old template.

Get the ball to Kevin De Bruyne and that's that.

Okay, so this is a simplification of the sparkling display City put on to get their Premier League title bid up and running.

John Stones was in from the cold alongside new signing Nathan Ake in a silky-smooth centre-back pairing - or was it a pairing? Rodri dropped in from midfield to play in between them at times during the first half, with Stones taking opportunities to join attacks down the right flank.

Captain Fernandinho enjoyed himself back in the midfield role a defensive shortfall denied him last season, and everything in front of the veteran Brazilian was all whirring, flashing, frictionless movement.

Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden were as tenacious out of possession as they were in it.

But it was PFA Players' Player of the Year De Bruyne who stamped himself all across what quickly became a pulverising opening 45 minutes for the hosts.

All the shifting plates in Guardiola's 4-2-3-1 seemed designed to put De Bruyne in the areas of the field where he can cause damage. Which, all things considered, amounts to a fair amount of turf.

Take the combination of athleticism and opportunism that saw him put down the throttle and chase Foden's pass to draw a brainless foul from Romain Saiss. Rui Patricio guessed correctly but De Bruyne struck the 20th-minute penalty sumptuously.

After the half hour he nipped into a pocked of space behind the Wolves midfield to release Sterling, who set up Foden for number two.

There was De Bruyne again, forcing a fine save from Patricio after he tore onto Jesus' flick-on, like the archetypal box-to-box midfielder.

Soon afterwards there was a devilish whipped cross from out on the touchline and, even as City's level dropped and they flirted with throwing away the sort of points they frequently fumbled last term, De Bruyne regularly carved holes in Wolves, working through the repertoire that makes him the most complete footballer in the division.

Since the start of 2019-20, the Belgium superstar has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other player, thanks to 14 goals and 21 assists. He created more chances (six) and had more shots on target (four) than any other City player on Monday.

Nevertheless, De Bruyne's team-mates are still without the serenity Guardiola claimed for Messi's old colleagues. Around the hour, when Adama Traore had the shackles of his right wing-back brief loosened and Stones became reacquainted with his lackadaisical side, a clatter of Wolves chances came and went.

The impressive Daniel Podence had the audacity to nutmeg De Bruyne before setting up Raul Jimenez's nicely placed 78th-minute header.

Despite paying the price for attempting the dirty work on that occasion, the 29-year-old contested a team-high five tackles and gained possession nine times - no City player did so more frequently. He covered 11.58 kilometres at an average speed of 7.12 km/h.

It was no surprise, therefore, to see which player bustled in between a hesitant Wolves defence to set up Jesus for the game-clinching goal.

Get the ball to Kevin De Bruyne and that's that.

Kevin De Bruyne was typically influential as Manchester City survived a tough second half to defeat bogey side Wolves 3-1 in their Premier League opener at Molineux.

Pep Guardiola's side - aiming to reclaim the title they lost to Liverpool last term - were featuring for the first time in 2020-21 due to their involvement in the previous campaign's Champions League knockout stage.

But City made up for lost time in a dominant first 45 minutes on Monday as De Bruyne capitalised on a rash challenge to break the deadlock from the penalty spot, before Phil Foden added a stylish second.

Wolves, who did the double over City last season, enjoyed a better spell after the break and belatedly netted through Raul Jimenez, yet De Bruyne's tackle in the final seconds allowed Gabriel Jesus to strike a deflected clincher.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi confirmed they have rejected an offer for Jules Kounde and does not believe the defender has reached an agreement with Manchester City.

Kounde has been heavily linked with City as Pep Guardiola looks to strengthen his backline.

The France Under-21 international joined Sevilla from Bordeaux last July and enjoyed a stellar first season with the club.

He played 40 times in all competitions, including nine games of Sevilla's victorious Europa League campaign, scoring twice.

Asked about Kounde at the presentation of Marcos Acuna, Monchi replied: "It is true that we have received the interest of a club for Jules, that club has transmitted an offer to us that has been valued and has been rejected.

"If they make another offer, we will listen to them again and we will answer but only we can choose when we will answer them.

"I doubt very much that Kounde has reached an agreement with City, because he has a contract with Sevilla. I already tell you that Kounde has not reached an agreement with Manchester City."

Sevilla will face Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup on Thursday and Monchi expects Kounde to be firmly focused on that clash.

"Knowing Kounde, I am sure he thinks more about Bayern players than other things," he added.

"We have a business model that has brought us 20 finals to this city, 10 titles. My recommendation to the steering committee is that we don't change it. 

"We have done very, very, very, very, very well, I see no reason to change it. 

"We have the possibility to say no to an offer that multiplies by more than two and a half the price of a player that everyone said was expensive. 

"If we have said no, it is because we can say no. But, I repeat, our model is very clear and that model has made us win 10 titles and play 20 finals."

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for coronavirus.

The club announced on Monday that the Germany international had contracted COVID-19.

He is now self-isolating for 10 days and will miss City's Premier League opener against Wolves on Monday.

Gundogan will also be unavailable for the EFL Cup clash with Bournemouth on Thursday and the league visit of Leicester City three days later.

Will Manchester City finally land Kalidou Koulibaly?

Pep Guardiola's City want defensive reinforcements and Napoli centre-back Koulibaly is reportedly at the top of the list.

If they are unsuccessful, Sevilla's Jules Kounde is next on the list.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP KOULIBALY

Manchester City are still in talks with Napoli to sign star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, who has also been linked to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

However, City are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli and Sevilla's Jules Kounde is the "backup option" but a bid has already been turned down.

 

ROUND-UP

- Romano says Wolves will complete the signing of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo on Monday. It comes as Barca eye Ajax defender Sergino Dest or Real Betis' Emerson to replace Semedo. Norwich City's Max Aarons has also been linked.

Milan have made Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic their number one defensive target ahead of Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, reports the Daily Record.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus are eyeing Real Madrid full-back Marcelo. The Brazilian has been repeatedly linked with a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion in Turin.

- The Telegraph says PSG are interested in Tottenham's Dele Alli. Out of favour under Jose Mourinho, Spurs are reportedly targeting Manchester United's Jesse Lingard as a replacement.

Roma remain interested in Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik but Madrid outcast Luka Jovic has emerged as 'Plan B', according to Calciomercato.

Leeds United are out of the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, reports Romano. Wanted by Marcelo Bielsa, the Croatian teenager is now set for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso acknowledged Kalidou Koulibaly is likely to leave the Serie A club but he would be happy to keep the star defender.

Koulibaly has been strongly linked with Premier League giants Manchester City and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Napoli look to raise funds following the club-record signing of Victor Osimhen.

The 29-year-old Koulibaly played as Napoli opened their 2020-21 Serie A season with a 2-0 win at Parma on Sunday and Gattuso hailed the in-demand centre-back, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United.

"I had no doubts, he is one of the strongest champions in the world in his role," Gattuso said via Sky Sport.

"He has always given me great availability and always trains well. I would be sorry to lose him, both for the man and for the player.

"But you know that numbers are important for clubs and at this moment something needs to be done for numbers, but I'd be happy to keep him."

Osimhen made his debut for Napoli, coming off the bench to inspire the visitors as Dries Mertens and captain Lorenzo Insigne scored against Parma.

Gattuso added: "It's not about numbers, but the principles of football. We know Osimhen is an added bonus, but we need to run before we have quality, because quality is not enough on its own.

"We must set out the team with the right concepts and protect the defence, but we knew that Osimhen could give us another gear in the final 20-25 minutes today.

"Osimhen is a lad who, in the 25 days I've been working with, I can tell doesn't forget where he started from, who made sacrifices, lost his family very young and has the head of a 40-year-old on 21-year-old shoulders.

"I am confident he won't change, as he has a great attitude and at this moment is a better player than he's so far shown on the pitch."

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