Pep Guardiola is confident Erling Haaland and the rest of Manchester City's new signings will settle in swiftly, though he acknowledged the Premier League champions have lost some key players.

Club stalwart Fernandinho left when his contract expired at the end of last season, and City have sold three other players who played a role in Guardiola's success, with Raheem Sterling joining Chelsea while Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko departed for Arsenal.

City already have most of their replacements through the door. Julian Alvarez was signed in January and has now linked up with the squad, while a deal was struck with Borussia Dortmund for prolific striker Haaland in May.

Kalvin Phillips has been signed from Leeds United to bolster City's midfield and Stefan Ortega has joined as a back-up goalkeeper, facilitating a loan move to Middlesbrough for Zack Steffen.

City's new recruits could get their first taste of competitive action on Saturday, when Guardiola's side face FA Cup winners Liverpool in the Community Shield.

Though he has been impressed with how quickly the new arrivals have started their City careers, Guardiola emphasised how important the players who have moved on were to his squad.

He told a news conference: "If you analyse what happened in the last years, without these important players it would be difficult to imagine it. We wish all of them the best.

"New people arrived, they settled quickly, down to earth and very humble people. We are going to try, this is Manchester City, we are all of us, we try to be a competitive team, to win our first title. 

"It's an honour to compete again [for the Community Shield], we will try to do a good game against an opponent we know well, it will dictate a little bit how is our moment, our level. Two, three weeks of pre-season is too short, but I saw many good things in this period."

Asked if it would take time for his new players to adapt, Guardiola said: "Hopefully not, the quicker they settle the better. It's my feeling they will not take time.

"Stefan surprised us a lot, how good he is on the ball and with our build-up, Kalvin knows the Premier League perfectly. The way they've listened, behaved, the minutes they've played. I think they'll settle quickly."

Guardiola was pressed on whether this was a "reset" the squad required, but the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss stressed that was not necessarily the case.

"Sometimes the transfer market dictates what you want to do," he explained. "The first season when we arrived we tried to loan, sell players and could not. This year I do not know what happened.

"Sometimes you want to do things, but it depends not just how good or bad we are but on the situations, and these situations happened quicker than we expected.

"The three players who have been sold, if they stayed with us they would have been incredibly happy. I know them, they [would have] continued to do what they had done. These situations have happened, we make our replacements, and they are here.

"Normally when a project is six, seven years, you are not seven years with the same people. When I arrived there was just Kevin [De Bruyne]. We have gratitude for the guys that were here. All the players have made an incredible contribution, we can only be grateful."

City are interested in signing Brighton and Hove Albion left-back Marc Cucurella, who on Friday was said to have handed in a transfer request in an attempt to push through a move, with the Seagulls reportedly holding out for a £50million fee.

Guardiola refused to comment further, though he did note it was an area of the pitch City would like to strengthen if possible.

Aymeric Laporte, meanwhile, is likely to be out until at least September after having knee surgery, Guardiola confirmed.

Fernandinho has penned a poetic farewell to Manchester City supporters on social media following his move to Athletico Paranaense.

Brazilian side Paranaense confirmed on Monday that an agreement is in place to re-sign Fernandinho, who previously spent three years with the club.

The 53-cap former Brazil international left Paranaense in 2005 to join Shakhtar Donetsk, before spending nine seasons with City, the last two of those as captain.

After making 383 appearances for City and winning 12 major honours, including five Premier League titles, Fernandinho bowed out at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

And on the day his contract at the Etihad Stadium officially expired, Fernandinho took to Twitter to pay an emotional tribute to everyone connected with City.

"I saw. I saw my family proud. I saw supporters that never forgot where they came from," he posted in an open letter. 

"I saw the beauty of being part of a winning team. I saw titles, superstars and geniuses. I saw an opportunity to fulfil my dream.

"And then I realised. I realised the importance of all reading this letter. I realised that I made the right choice, the best choice of my entire life.

"I hope one day when you remember me, you feel the same way that I'm feeling when I'm writing this."

He added: "Athletes, coaches/trainers, laundry staff, kit managers, cleaners, concierge, security team, door staff, advisors, executives, cooks, directors, doctors, masseuses, physiotherapists, sports psychologists, media team, analysts, youth teams, charity teams…

"Apologies if I missed anyone, but you know who you are. Today is the last day of my contract with Manchester City.

"I can only say that I gave my very best and I would do it all over again. The story continues and after playing for nine years, I will become an avid Cityzen supporter for many more titles and victories.

"I am certain that many more will come judging by the quality of all your daily work."

Fernandinho signed off the letter: "My memories will last forever. Many thanks, your eternal captain."

The 37-year-old previously revealed he turned down numerous offers to return to Paranaense, who are now managed by former Portugal and Brazil boss Luis Felipe Scolari.

Fernandinho has rejoined former club Athletico Paranaense after announcing his departure from Manchester City.

The 37-year-old stated his intention to return to Brazil in April before completing his ninth campaign at the Etihad Stadium, and leaves at the end of his contract having made a total of 383 appearances for City.

Fernandinho took over as City captain after David Silva's 2020 departure and featured in five Premier League title wins, the last four of them under Pep Guardiola's management.

But the holding midfielder, who has won 53 caps for Brazil, was reduced to a supporting role during the 2021-22 season, starting just 17 games in all competitions as Rodri enjoyed a terrific campaign at the base of Guardiola's midfield.

On Monday, Athletico Paranaense tweeted an image of Fernandinho with club president Mario Celso Petraglia, alongside the caption: "Welcome back, Fernandinho!"

Fernandinho spent three seasons with the Curitiba-based club before joining Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005, where he won six Ukrainian top-flight titles.

Athletico Paranaense are coached by former World Cup-winning Brazil boss Luis Felipe Scolari, who joined the side in May.

Fernandinho signed off from Manchester City with a fifth Premier League title under his belt as the club captain declared: "It's like we came back from the dead."

From 2-0 down to Aston Villa after goals from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho, City roared back in the final 15 minutes and snatched a 3-2 win with a double from Ilkay Gundogan and a fine strike from Rodri.

Brazilian Fernandinho has decided his time is up at City, after nine successful years in which he established himself among the best defensive midfielders in the history of the Premier League.

At the age of 37, the skipper played the first half of Sunday's game before a tactical switch saw Oleksandr Zinchenko take his place after the break.

That was a shrewd move as the younger legs of Zinchenko gave City a little extra energy, with Fernandinho having been deployed out of position at centre-back.

The outcome delighted Fernandinho, who watched on anxiously from the bench before City roared back to snatch the silverware. He then lifted the trophy, the perfect finale to his City career.

"It's a great experience for me," Fernandinho old Sky Sports. "It's like we came back from the dead today and won the league – an amazing feeling.

"At 2-0 down, playing at home, and we were a little bit nervous. We struggled a little bit to find the spaces. We had so many set-pieces [in the first half], but it wasn't enough to score the goal."

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne and substitutes Gundogan and Raheem Sterling drove City forward late on, and Fernandinho said such players "made the difference for us.".

"I think this is Manchester City's spirit. We never give up, we always believe until the end," Fernandinho added.

He joined the club a year after their first Premier League title in 2012, when a 3-2 comeback win over QPR on the final day was clinched by Sergio Aguero's stoppage-time strike.

"It happened 10 years ago and today is a little bit different, but it's quite the same," Fernandinho said.

"It's a really emotional day for me. It was a really nice experience for me, a beautiful journey, and for sure they will be always in my heart.

"It's unforgettable emotions for me."

The Premier League witnessed drama at both ends of the table on an absorbing Saturday, as Manchester City and Liverpool continued to trade blows in the title race.

Jurgen Klopp's men downed in-form Newcastle United thanks to Naby Keita's first-half strike, before City responded by cruising to a 4-0 thrashing of Leeds United at Elland Road.

At the other end of the table, Norwich City were condemned to a record sixth Premier League relegation at Aston Villa, and Watford look destined to join them after Burnley continued their incredible upturn in form at Vicarage Road.

After another frantic day of action, Stats Perform looks at some of the key Opta facts from Saturday's contests.

Newcastle United 0-1 Liverpool: Keita continues Reds' run

Liverpool's bid for a remarkable quadruple faced a tough test when they travelled to Eddie Howe's in-form Newcastle in the first clash of the day.

However, Naby Keita's 19th-minute goal proved the difference in a competitive encounter, and was Liverpool's earliest winning goal in a 1-0 Premier League victory since December 2016, when Georginio Wijnaldum netted after eight minutes against Manchester City.

Klopp's side had chances to extend their lead, with home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka making nine saves, his highest tally in a single Premier League match. Since 2003-04, when Opta data began, the only Newcastle goalkeepers to make more saves in a Premier League game are Tim Krul (14 against Tottenham in November 2013) and Karl Darlow (11 against Tottenham in September 2020).

However, a 21st clean sheet of Liverpool's league campaign was enough to move them to the top of the table - only in 2005-06 (22) have the Reds kept more shutouts in a single Premier League campaign.

Liverpool have now picked up 40 points from the last 42 on offer in the competition, and the win turned up the pressure on City ahead of their trip to Leeds later on Saturday.

Leeds United 0-4 Manchester City: Visitors draw on set-peice prowess to reclaim top spot

The Reds were not top of the table for long, however, as City claimed a 4-0 win over relegation-threatened Leeds at Elland Road. Goals from Rodri and Nathan Ake both came from set pieces, meaning City have now scored 18 set-piece goals (excluding penalties) this season, their most in a Premier League campaign since 2013-14 (22).

Pep Guardiola's men have also kept five consecutive away league clean sheets, the best such sequence in the club's history.

After Gabriel Jesus had made the points safe, Fernandinho stuck a superb fourth goal late on, becoming the club's oldest ever Premier League goalscorer at 36 years and 361 days old, overtaking Frank Lampard in 2015 (36 years and 338 days old).

Leeds, meanwhile, are looking over their shoulders after another heavy defeat. They have conceded a remarkable 20 league goals against the two Manchester clubs this season (11 against City, nine against Manchester United) – a new top-flight record for goals conceded against the duo in a single season.

Watford 1-2 Burnley: Clarets' revival continues after Cork ends barren run

Elsewhere, Burnley continued their incredible revival by coming from behind to defeat Watford, making Mike Jackson the first Clarets boss to win three of his first four league games in charge since Jimmy Mullen won his first four in 1991.

After James Tarkowski's own-goal put Watford ahead, Jack Cork ended his run of 84 Premier League games without a goal with his first strike since December 2018 (against Liverpool), before Josh Brownhill scored a late winner.

The Clarets are now five points above the bottom three after winning three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2019, having won just three of their previous 21 games.

Roy Hodgson's Watford, meanwhile, look destined for relegation after becoming the first side in English top-flight history to lose 11 consecutive home league matches.

Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City: Canaries suffer another relegation at Villa Park

Burnley's win had other ramifications, contributing to Norwich suffering their sixth relegation from the Premier League – the most of any club in the competition's history – after the Canaries were beaten at Villa Park.

Remarkably, Norwich have been relegated in each of their last four Premier League seasons (2013-14, 2015-16, 2019-20 and 2021-22). They are only the second side in English league history to suffer relegation in four consecutive campaigns in the top-flight, after Crystal Palace (1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98 and 2004-05).

 

Dean Smith's men saw their fate sealed after becoming the first team to concede 70 Premier League goals this season after just 34 games, representing the earliest point in any league campaign they have reached 70 concessions since 1956-57 (in their 34th game in the old Third Division South).

Ollie Watkins set the tone for Villa's win with his first-half strike, and he has now scored at least 11 more goals than any other Villa player since his September 2020 debut (25 goals in all competitions).

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City cannot be "tired" as they continue to compete on multiple fronts for silverware, with the prizes too big for them to falter in the final weeks.

The Premier League champions travel to face Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final, with Kevin De Bruyne's goal having given them a 1-0 aggregate lead.

It is a match that comes sandwiched between two encounters with domestic rivals Liverpool.

The Premier League title challengers played out a thrilling 2-2 draw on Sunday and will meet in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Saturday.

That hectic schedule is more of a badge of honour for Guardiola however, who explained that his side will not be sluggish when there are a trio of trophies at stake in the final few months of the campaign.

"We are close to the end of the season, where you have to be grateful to be here," he told his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

"I would love to have more time, but in that moment, you are not tired. When you are so close to reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, or the FA Cup, you are not tired."

Atleti failed to attempt a shot in the first leg. Since 2003-04, when Opta began collecting such data, the fewest shots recorded by a team across two legs of a Champions League knockout tie is four, by Shakhtar Donetsk against Bayern Munich in 2014-15. 

However, Guardiola knows his side will likely need to remain on the offensive and expects to face a different proposition to the defensively taut team that visited the Etihad Stadium last week.

"It will be slightly different," he added. "They play at home, and they create momentum.

"With the passion [that] all the fans [and] all the history that they have, there will be moments they will be aggressive and create problems."

Guardiola has faced Atleti away from home on six previous occasions as a manager (W3 L3), with the most recent of those being a 0-1 defeat in the Champions League while in charge of Bayern Munich in 2015-16.

It will be City's 100th game in the Champions League – they have won 55 of their first 99, which is already the most by an English side through a century of games in the competition. Overall, only Real Madrid have won more of their first 100 games in the competition (57).

Pep Guardiola was caught off guard after Fernandinho said he will not renew his Manchester City contract.

Fernandinho has been a pivotal figure for City since his arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013.

He has helped the club win four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and the EFL Cup six times.

However, at the age of 36, he is now back-up to Rodri in Guardiola's midfield, while the Brazilian is also able to fill in at centre-back if required.

Fernandinho has made 23 appearances across all competitions this season, though only 12 of those have been starts and on Tuesday, he suggested he will not be signing a new deal, with his contract due to expire at the end of 2021-22.

"I don't think so," he told a news conference when asked if he would be extending his stay in Manchester.

"I want to play regularly. I will go back to Brazil. I decided with my family, which is the most important for me."

Guardiola, however, was taken by surprise.

"Oh, I didn't know. You give me the news," City's manager said when it was his time to face the media.

"I didn't hear it. We will see what happens. I don't know what will happen. He is so important. I'll ask him.

"At the end of the season we talk, maybe it's because of his family. I would love it. We will talk."

Expanding on his appreciation of Fernandinho, Guardiola added: "The role he plays this season, I like the people who behave behind the scenes.

"I know what he has done, he handles many of our players and stars for the benefit of the team. I praise him and he was here when I arrived.

"We know him well, from day one to now always here. An incredible player for Man City. There are things nobody knows but I know exactly."

City face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Pep Guardiola is still "so angry" with Kyle Walker over the full-back's three-match Champions League suspension.

Walker was sent off for lashing out at Andre Silva in the 82nd minute of City's 2-1 defeat to RB Leipzig in the group stage, with the Premier League champions having already secured qualification into the last 16.

City appealed against the England international's suspension, but it was upheld, with Walker missing the last-16 tie against Sporting CP and the first leg of the quarter-finals, with Guardiola's side surely heading for the last eight after winning the first leg 5-0.

The Premier League leaders are short of options in defence for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. Ruben Dias is set to miss the next month due to a hamstring problem while Nathan Ake is not yet ready to return from injury, and Joao Cancelo is unwell.

John Stones and Aymeric Laporte are Guardiola's senior options at centre-back, while Oleksandr Zinchenko would seem the most viable option at left-back.

Guardiola said he does not know who will fill in at right-back, as he vented his frustration at Walker.

"He deserved it. Kyle Walker deserved the three," Guardiola said during a news conference when asked about City's failure to win their appeal.

"When one player does this stupid thing he deserves the three games, I'm sorry. I'm not so kind to Kyle in this kind of action.

"I'm still so angry with him, so angry. He knows it. It's not necessary to discuss that [with him].

"He's so important, Kyle for us. Did you see the game he played against United? But in Leipzig, we've qualified already, 75, 80 minutes to make this kind of action? So he deserves the three games.

"The club appealed, I did not agree. They had to do it because in other cases that were quite similar it was just two games but he deserved it. Hopefully he learns for the future."

One academy option who could be called upon is Luke Mbete, with the 18-year-old defender set to be included in City's squad.

"He's trained with us for a long time, the application is so high, a guy who wants to learn," Guardiola said.

"Still young but tomorrow he'll be with the squad and maybe we will need him, we will see."

Fernandinho, however, was namechecked as a possible option to slot into the defence, either at right-back or centre-back.

There has been talk of Fernandinho moving into a coaching role, yet Guardiola still wants to keep the Brazilian in his squad if possible.

"I would love [to offer him a new contract]," Guardiola said. 

"I'm so glad to have him he's an incredible captain and player. I have a feeling now at 36, 37, he struggled a little bit coming back from holidays but now he's getting his rhythm.

"For him he doesn't care, he will play against Peterborough. Other players his age wouldn't want to play there in cold weather, but he wants to help to give rest to Rodri. At the end of the season Txiki [Begiristain, City's director of football] and the club have to decide."

Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, is risking a suspension should he play and Guardiola may omit the midfielder.

"He's maybe not [going to start]," Guardiola said with a laugh. "We will see."

Oleksandr Zinchenko was to captain Manchester City at Peterborough United on Tuesday in his first appearance since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Ukraine international Zinchenko was on the bench at Everton on Saturday and pictured in tears as both teams showed their support for his nation at Goodison Park.

And further gestures were set to follow before the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Peterborough.

Zinchenko was to be at the forefront of those after he was named as City's skipper on the teamsheet, despite the club initially suggesting regular captain Fernandinho would lead the side.

Fernandinho, who spent eight years in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk before joining City, offered the armband to Zinchenko in a sign of solidarity.

"Our captain decided to give the armband to him to show how important the situation is," Pep Guardiola told ITV Sport. 

"We are all the club behind this gesture, behind our captain, who represents his country."

Zinchenko and Fernandinho were among six changes to the City side, with Jack Grealish also brought in after a spell out through injury.

Guardiola had confirmed on Monday that Zinchenko would be involved, saying: "I think it would be good for him to play and show the reason why he is here – he is a magnificent player – to play football."

Kieran Trippier has long been linked with a move back to England.

The 31-year-old full back has plied his trade in Spain for the past two-and-a-half years.

Trippier spent time with Manchester City, Burnley and Tottenham before joining Atletico Madrid, but seems set for a Premier League return next month.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO TO PERMIT TRIPPIER MOVE

Atleti are set to allow England international Trippier to join Newcastle United in January according to the Daily Mail.

The report claims that Atleti are hoping for £15million (€18m) from cashed-up Newcastle, who need reinforcements in their bid to avoid relegation.

Atleti will let the deal progress if they can find a suitable replacement for the defender during January.

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport claims Juventus will switch their attention to signing an attacking player in January to boost their Champions League qualification hopes, with Manchester United pair Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial, Paris Saint-Germain's Mauro Icardi and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in their sights.

- AS reports that Eden Hazard does not want to leave Real Madrid in the January transfer window, despite struggling for impact with Los Blancos.

Chelsea are set to make a move for Wolverhampton's Ruben Neves according to TodoFichajes. Thomas Tuchel wants to reinforce the midfield with Saul Niguez having underwhelmed since joining in August.

Real Madrid are plotting a move to sign Internazionale's Netherlands international Denzel Dumfries reports Defensa Central.

- Veteran Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho is set to extend his stay with Manchester City, scuppering interest from Atletico Mineiro, reports Sport Witness.

Manchester City had a "considerable chance" of signing Cristiano Ronaldo before he re-joined Manchester United, according to Fernandinho.

Premier League champions City were strongly linked with Ronaldo last month after it emerged he had asked to leave Juventus, where he had spent the previous three seasons.

However, United pulled of a stunning coup by agreeing a deal worth up to £19.67million (€23m) for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, 12 years after he had departed for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has made a fine start to his second spell at United with three goals in two games, but Fernandinho has suggested the Portugal captain could well have been a City player.

Asked how close his side came to signing the superstar forward, Fernandinho told ESPN Brasil: "I think they had a good, considerable chance. 

"I think his agent [Jorge Mendes] was here at the club renewing the contracts of Ederson, Ruben Dias, seeing the situation of Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo. 

"Obviously, if you're there at the table, you can talk about everything and every possible player."

Shortly after putting pen to paper on an initial two-year deal with United, Ronaldo revealed the part former boss Alex Ferguson had on his decision to opt for a return to Old Trafford.

And given the media attention surrounding the prospect of Ronaldo agreeing to join City, Fernandinho believes other factors played a part in the 36-year-old's decision.

"I think that a lot of expectations were also raised with the possibility of him coming here," the Brazilian said. "No doubt this ends up affecting not only the fans, but also the people inside the club. 

"But in the end, things didn't work out, he didn't close the deal, and ended up going to the red side of town. Life goes on."

After scoring twice on his second Old Trafford debut in last weekend's 4-1 win against Newcastle United, Ronaldo was again on target in the Red Devils' surprise 2-1 Champions League loss to Young Boys on Tuesday.

Ronaldo's 13th-minute opener made Young Boys the 36th different side he has scored against in the Champions League, a record the Portuguese now shares with Lionel Messi.

He also equalled another record in Switzerland on what was his 177th Champions League appearance, matching the number of games player by legendary Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Fernandinho's Manchester City legacy will be different to those fan favourites who have departed the Etihad Stadium over recent seasons but no less impressive.

The veteran defensive midfielder has signed a one-year contract extension until June 2022, which will take him past his 37th birthday.

Speaking after news of the contract was confirmed, Fernandinho said "the job is not yet done" in reference to City's failure to add a maiden Champions League crown to a third Premier League title in four seasons under Pep Guardiola when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea in Porto.

A haul of 12 major honours overall makes him one of the key figures in City's modern era and now the last remaining figurehead of the pre-Guardiola era.

Former City centre-back Nedum Onuoha shared a dressing room with the likes of Vincent Kompany and David Silva, who – along with the recently departed Sergio Aguero – are set to have statues erected outside the ground they graced with such distinction.

Fernandinho's arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 for Manuel Pellegrini's maiden season in charge puts him in a slightly different category to those stars who ended a 35-year trophy drought with the 2010-11 FA Cup and a 44-year wait for a league title in 2011-12.

"He's been influential for the club, the amount of games he's played and his influence to this day," Onuoha told Stats Perform last month.

"Leagues had been won at the point [he signed] and he was being brought in to reinforce title challenges Those other people have a slightly different legacy because they weren't at City when City were dominant.

"He came in at a time to try and increase the dominance and improve the dominance. He's done it, he stayed for a long period of time and he has a huge, huge influence.

"That is something that you can't speak ill about because it's very easy for certain players to come in, see a club, feel it out, do well and go somewhere else.

"I don't think many people off the top their heads could name me a player who stayed at a club for 10 years and didn't come through their academy.

"So, for anybody who's stayed that long, it shows the performances have been great, the mentality has been great and they've been liked by the club and the fans.

"I don't think he'll get a statue but I'm pretty sure at some point people will, when he eventually leaves, people will make it abundantly clear that he was one of the most important players for City in this successful period."

Very much in keeping with the style of his club and current manager, Fernandinho's 13,896 successful passes are more than any other Premier League player since the start of 2013-14.

Over the course of that same time period, he has also won the most games (171 – one more than team-mate Raheem Sterling) and – in a nod to his penchant for the dark arts – conceded the most fouls (345) and collected the most yellow cards (52).

Although he was no longer a first-choice starter in 2020-21, Fernandinho has the third-most appearances under Guardiola in all competitions (211), while his influence after being handed the captain's armband cannot be quantified in numbers but was celebrated as a key factor in City regaining the Premier League and lifting the EFL Cup.

"I'm not sure we can disregard people like Kevin De Bruyne, who's been there for a lot years, as well Raheem Sterling who's been there for a lot of years," Onuoha said.

"There's a group of players in there who represent the core of the football club at this moment in time.

"Even though they might not necessarily be as vocal in a particular way as Fernandinho is, you know, they still have a voice because it's their club, it's their team.

"Fernandinho, because he's a bit older, he can speak in a different manner. Even if he'd been at the club for a year, he could still talk about all his years experienced elsewhere.

"When you have players who have that type of influence, who understand the game, understand the manager because they're closer in and age and things like that, it does make a big, big difference."

Fernandinho is staying at Manchester City after signing a new one-year deal with the Premier League champions.

His previous contract was set to expire this week, but the 36-year-old has decided to extend his stay with City to a ninth season.

The Brazilian midfielder has won 12 trophies, including four Premier League titles and a record six EFL Cups, during his time at the club and has his eye on more honours in the twilight of his career.

He said: "In my head and my mind, the job is not done yet.

"And so that's why I decided to stay here another year and try to help the team and the club to achieve the goals that they're looking for. In my point of view, we can do that, there's still places to improve and to get those targets. And obviously, for me and for my family it's a pleasure to stay in Manchester for one more year.

"If I can keep doing the same way, leading them inside the pitch, off the pitch, to help them to improve and get better and to perform better during the games, I would be the happiest person there."

Fernandinho started only 22 games in all competitions for Pep Guardiola's side in the 2020-21 campaign as they secured a Premier League and EFL Cup double, before suffering a heartbreaking Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.

City director of football Txiki Begiristain says the veteran, signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, has been a great servant to the club and can play a big part on and off the field next season.

"Fernandinho's contribution to Manchester City cannot be overstated," Begiristain said. "He is an outstanding footballer – one of the best in the world in his position – and an exemplary professional.

"Since he arrived in 2013, his attitude and consistency have been exceptional, and he has developed into one of our most influential players.

"He is our captain, our leader and it is a position he has excelled in. There are a number of talented young players in our squad and, therefore, it is vital we have somebody with Fernandinho's knowledge and experience."

Fernandinho is staying at Manchester City after signing a new one-year deal with the Premier League champions.

Erling Haaland is the name on everyone's lips this off-season.

Haaland enjoyed a stunning campaign for Borussia Dortmund, earning admirers from Europe's elite.

As speculation mounts over his future, Dortmund are determined to keep the Norwegian.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND NAME HAALAND PRICE

Borussia Dortmund are demanding €200million (£172m) for star striker Erling Haaland, according to AS.

Haaland has been linked with Real MadridManchester CityBarcelona, Paris Saint-GermainManchester UnitedJuventusLiverpoolChelsea and Bayern Munich.

Dortmund previously quoted €180m (£154m) but BVB have reportedly increased their demands as they try to retain the Norway forward for at least another season.

 

ROUND-UP

- LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid are targeting Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to AS. With Diego Simeone poised to extend his contract, the head coach is eyeing a move for Martinez, who has previously been linked with Barca.

Barca could sell Samuel UmtitiSergi Roberto and Junior Firpo to reduce their wage bill, says Mundo Deportivo. Jordi Alba could also depart for the right price as Ronald Koeman's men look to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay.

- Fabrizio Romano reports PSG have agreed a deal to sign Georginio Wijnaldum, who had been tipped to join Barca with his Liverpool contract set to expire. As Wijnaldum looks destined for Paris, Marca claims Barca are now interested in City veteran FernandinhoPSG are also in talks with Inter to sign Achraf Hakimi.

- Staying at Camp Nou, Sport claims Barca are looking to sign City trio Aymeric LaporteGabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan, having already brought Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia in on free transfers from the Premier League champions.

- Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will decide his future in the coming days, according to Romano. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked with JuventusBarca and PSG.

Atletico are hoping to lure Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin to Madrid, according to Marca. It comes as United reportedly try to prise Kieran Trippier from Los Colchoneros.

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