Leroy Sane was named in Manchester City's starting line-up for the Community Shield against Liverpool despite ongoing speculation linking the Germany international with a move to Bayern Munich.

Sane, who has four goals in five Premier League appearances against Liverpool, will feature in a front three alongside Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling at Wembley, with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus taking places on the City bench following late returns to training due to their involvement in the Copa America.

Pep Guardiola has regularly stated his desire to keep Sane but conceded on Friday that talks with the 23-year-old over a contract extension had regressed.

Like City's Africa Cup of Nations-winning winger Riyad Mahrez, Liverpool's celebrated front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all had last season significantly extended by international commitments.

Salah and Firmino both start for the Reds, while Mane is not due to link up with the squad following his break until Monday.

James Milner is not available, the former City midfielder left out as a precaution after complaining of a tight muscle, while Joe Gomez is preferred to Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence.

City's record signing Rodri makes his competitive debut in Fernandinho's absence, while Danilo is not part of Guardiola's matchday squad amid reports he will be used as a makeweight in a deal to bring Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo to the Etihad Stadium.

Aymeric Laporte is an injury absentee, meaning John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi start as City's only fit senior centre-backs in front of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Teenage defender Eric Garcia is on the bench after long-serving club captain Vincent Kompany departed at the end of last season.

Paul Pogba needs to feel more love if he is to thrive at Manchester United, according to friend and former team-mate Patrice Evra.

The World Cup winner's future continues to generate headlines less than a week out from the new Premier League season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he has "no doubts" over Pogba's loyalty despite Mino Raiola, the player's agent, last month admitting the midfielder wants to move on.

Real Madrid reportedly remain interested in engineering a deal.

Ex-United defender Evra shared a changing room with Pogba at Old Trafford and Juventus and thinks more warmth towards his compatriot could end the discontent.

"I don't know what Paul's future holds," the now-retired Evra told The Daily Mail.

"I do know that he felt really loved in Juventus. He doesn't feel that love in Manchester.

"We always forget what a player is about. A player is about performing on the pitch. So kill him when he is not playing well but if he is playing well, concentrate on that.

"When you buy nice cars and a big house, you will create hate and jealousy so you have to step up your game and make sure it doesn't affect you.

"That's why I say to Paul: do whatever you want but if you see it affects your game, stop. Don't try to be like a warrior. Stop."

It was a few months into the final season of Pogba's first stint at United that former France left-back Evra accused Luis Suarez of racially abusing him during a Premier League match.

Suarez, then with Liverpool, denied the allegation but served an eight-game ban over the incident, though Evra does not hold a grudge towards the Uruguayan.

"I don't know if Suarez is a racist. I don't know his family. I don't know his background," he said.

"But racism is so big for so many years and that day, there was racist abuse. So when we went to the hearing, they listened to me because I said I didn't want them to punish him and I don't know him close enough to say he is racist but he used that racist word.

"I don't hate him. I never hated him. I wanted to punch him at the time but for me to hate someone is impossible."

Manchester City and Liverpool will lead a two-horse race in the Premier League once again in the 2019-20 campaign, Reds icon Graeme Souness believes.

Pep Guardiola's City edged the Premier League title last term, finishing on 98 points – just one more than Liverpool – to defend their crown.

It was a remarkable campaign, with Liverpool setting a new record points total for a side that finished second, their swashbuckling attacking style aided by a new-found defensive shrewdness inspired by Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.

Although the Reds won the Champions League, there was still an air of what might have been domestically, as they lost only once in the top flight.

Liverpool also finished a whopping 27 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea and Souness does not see anyone bridging the gap in this season.

Speaking to Omnisport at Brighton and Hove Pride on behalf of PaddyPower, Souness said: "I think they [Man City and Liverpool] showed last season they're a good bit ahead of anyone else, both of them.

"Man United have obviously strengthened where they needed to, at the back. I suppose United will be hoping Harry Maguire 'does a Virgil van Dijk' and brings them all along, makes everyone feel better about themselves and play better.

"I think Tottenham, they've spent a bit of money, they've been a team threatening for a few years now, they need to make that leap.

"Arsenal I don't see challenging and Chelsea could have a difficult year. They've lost the best player [Eden Hazard] in the Premier League of the last six or seven years.

"He's now gone and he was a scorer and provider of goals for Chelsea, they'll miss him enormously and, given they've this transfer embargo, I think it'll be a difficult year.

"I still see the big two, then the nearest challengers as Spurs. But United, if they get some momentum, they'll take some stopping, because you have to accept they're a very special football club and the support get behind them there."

Liverpool's pre-season has had its problems, as manager Jurgen Klopp has been without numerous key players due to international competitions and they won only once from matches against Lyon, Sevilla, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Sporting CP.

Up next before they get the new Premier League season started is the Community Shield against City, though Souness insists – win or lose – it will not be an indicator of how the season will unfold.

"The game [on Sunday] is not about who wins, it's about players getting through the game, getting up to speed for, in Liverpool's case, their game at home to Norwich, Souness added.

"It's about getting them through the pre-season and to the first day [of the campaign] – the first day is everything.

"You think of Liverpool losing it by one point last year, I think it'll be those two [teams at the top] again, it'll be nip and tuck all the way.

"Every single game, every single point is important, but Sunday is not – in terms of a result – important.

"I'm talking from a manager's perspective, saying that, as a player you don't rock up at Wembley and not want to win, you're bang at it. But the priority is getting them that bit fitter."

 

Graeme Souness was talking to Omnisport on behalf of PaddyPower's Come Out and Play campaign and Proud United, a team of LGBTQ footballers from across the United Kingdom working to tackle homophobia in football.

Manchester City and Liverpool spent months staring each other down, waiting for one of them to blink in last season's Premier League title race.

As the absurd relentlessness unfolded week after week, neither budged and City's 98 points edged out 97 from the runners-up.

No one blinked. The question heading into Sunday's Community Shield encounter at Wembley is has this made them sick of the sight of one another?

"I went to university in Liverpool years ago and I remember Liverpool and Everton fans would ask 'are you City or United?'," Dan Burke, content editor for OneFootball and a contributor to the Blue Moon Podcast, recalled.

"I'd say City and they were like, 'oh, we don't mind City'. I think definitely Liverpool don't like City anymore.

"Both sets of fans know how to get under the other ones' skin."

The reasons for football rivalries vary in each instance. Some are rooted in simple geography, others fester and mutate amid sporting competition and some exploded out of a controversial flashpoint.

They develop and evolve over time, which leads to the obvious question of what relationship do Manchester City and Liverpool share on the back of 2018-19's remarkable exploits?

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp share a deep mutual respect, which compels each to conduct themselves above the fray for the most part.

At his news conference ahead of the English season's traditional curtain-raiser, Guardiola declared himself "bothered" by Klopp's recent comments on City's spending capacity. Naturally, a few moments later he described his former Bundesliga foe as a "class manager, top manager… incredible".

Klopp and Guardiola might bristle occasionally but will never make a Jose Mourinho-Antonio Conte spectacle of themselves. Whether the same can be said of two fanbases where enmity appears to be growing is debatable.

Faux-rivalry

"For me it seems like a faux-rivalry based on current events because we have two great teams who look quite sustainable in terms of what they want to achieve," said Nina Kauser of the Anfield Index.

"You had 2013-14, when City pipped us to the league and it was quite respectful. Maybe there was a turning of the tide when Raheem Sterling signed for City in 2015 and that made it a bit bitter for Liverpool fans.

"But as a whole, I really don't see it as a rivalry. I find it quite petty."

Burke agrees that the 2013-14 Premier League title battle and Steven Gerrard's fateful slip left a mark, but events have accelerated over the past year and a half.

Liverpool's rousing 4-3 win over City at Anfield in January 2018 handed the champions-elect the first defeat of their 100-point Premier League season.

Three months later, City were back on Merseyside for a Champions League quarter-final that began with smashed bus windows and ended in a 5-1 aggregate defeat.

Liverpool's defeat to Real Madrid in that season's Champions League final was then commemorated in a – to use Burke's description – "tawdry" terrace chant at City, which brought embarrassing PR when it featured fleetingly in the squad's 2018-19 title celebrations.

"I think the Champions League two legs is where it really began. That ramped it up – the arguing, the bickering," Howard Hockin of the 9320 Podcast explained, slightly wearily.

"I'm not going to go anti-Liverpool on you, but we'll think they were terrible and their fanbase is appalling and living on past glories. And they'll say different things about us.

"It's a different era now with social media, you see everything. I'm not going to judge a fanbase by what you see on Twitter because it's a very strange world where you live in a bubble.

"I went to a party at the end of last season and spoke to a Liverpool fan. You have a completely normal conversation.

"For all I know, I might have an argument with that person behind an anonymous user name the next day, saying ridiculous things."

Don't read the replies

Social media noise is undeniably a factor here. If long-standing rivalries should be aged and enjoyed like a fine whisky, the modern equivalents can often feel like someone throwing payday Jagerbombs down their throat before happy hour ends.

"I cannot be bothered with online bitterness in any way, shape or form. It's fundamentally boring," said Neil Atkinson from the Anfield Wrap.

"I genuinely don't care what Manchester City supporters are doing or saying. It bores me to tears.

"In terms of a sporting sense there is a rivalry between the two sides and the two managers. Thus far it's been intense on the pitch, but it's also been friendly.

"I think if you could offer both managers a magic button and the Community Shield was Manchester City versus Watford they'd probably take that.

"Whereas if you go back to the Liverpool-versus-Everton rivalry of the 1980s, or the classic Premier League rivalry of Manchester United versus Arsenal, those sides would have liked to play each other and kick lumps out of each other every week. That's where I think it's different."

The best of enemies

Everton and Manchester United. The can't-live-with-them, can't-live-without-them characters in this story who means all passions City and Liverpool direct at one another over the coming seasons might ultimately feel like a passing fling.

"We play Everton and it's massive and it dominates my life," Atkinson added. "It's psychologically huge.

"Everton could be 19th having not won in 10 and, if we were going to Goodison Park, it would be all I'm thinking about all week. That will never be the case with City and that's fine."

It's a position that Hockin and many of the thousands who will descend upon Wembley this weekend share.

"There's no doubt, if you ask most City fans they will say it has to be United who are our rivals," he said. "They'd have to be relegated for that not to be the case and go down three divisions.

"We've lived in their shadow for decades and five or six years finishing above them in the league doesn't change the fact that my whole lifetime it's been about United and getting one over them."

Pep Guardiola insists he will not gamble Manchester City's domestic dominance to go all in for Champions League glory.

City became the first team for a decade to win back-to-back Premier League titles last season before going on to complete an unprecedented domestic treble.

However, as was the case during his time at Bayern Munich, two-time Champions League winner Guardiola found Europe's top competition to prove elusive once more as eventual runners-up Tottenham prevailed against City on away goals in a thrilling quarter-final.

On the eve of beginning his fourth season as City boss with a Community Shield showdown against Liverpool, the Champions League looms even larger as the one major prize left to win, but Guardiola feels the consistency that has returned top-flight points hauls of 100 and 98 in consecutive seasons is too valuable to sacrifice.

"The Champions League is an important tournament, difficult to win," he said. "But I don't want to go to the casino and gamble everything I have in my pocket for seven games [the Champions League knockout stages]. I don’t want it.

"I think I want to be happy during 11 months. It makes me happy, the Premier League, every game in the cups. When I win, the days after I am happier. I go to the restaurants better, I feel better, I work better with my players. That's what it gives me.

"Am I going to wait until February to play seven games with everything on black colour? From my point of view, it's too risky.

"Normally, when you have history behind it helps a lot. We are trying to build it and I think in Europe we will be closer when we win more Premier Leagues and Premier Leagues and Premier Leagues.

"I would sign right now to do what we did last season again. Right now. Not winning the Champions League and four titles [including the Community Shield] again in this season."

City's status as a relatively newcomer among Europe's elite was a factor Guardiola also touched upon when discussing the absence of his players from this week's FIFA Best Awards shortlist.

"It is because Manchester City is in this position the last decade. We are new in these situations," he said.

"I cannot imagine Real Madrid and Barcelona winning four titles and not one single player being there [on the shortlist].

"I don’t think there is one player who made a better season than Bernardo Silva last season, even winning [The Nations League] with Portugal.

"This club, for example, in eight years won four Premier Leagues. It is quite remarkable. And never in these four seasons was one of our players nominated the best in the league. Never

"Huge respect for Mohamed Salah [who won the PFA and FWA awards in 2017-18], but Kevin De Bruyne that season, guys, when we made 100 points was above and beyond the normal situations."

That description could be applied to both City and Liverpool collectively last time around, as they amassed a combined 195 Premier League points.

Liverpool overcame the disappointment of City pipping them to the title by winning the Champions League.

Guardiola phoned Jurgen Klopp to pass on his congratulations after they beat Spurs 2-0 in Madrid and dismissed the suggestion that the Reds' exploits had taken the shine off his own team's achievements.

"Why can we not share the glory?" he asked ahead of the latest chapter in a burgeoning sporting rivalry. "We would like to win the Champions League – big respect to Liverpool. Winning the Champions League is so difficult, so, so complicated.

"That's why winning the Champions League gets all credit. But why is it higher than what we have done over 11 months?

"I'm pretty sure Liverpool would have liked to win the last Premier League after 30 years not winning the Premier League.

"Both teams were fantastic last season. Why do you have to say this team is better than the other one? Both were good."

Harry Maguire's imminent signing for Manchester United could prove to be a game-changer akin to Liverpool buying Virgil van Dijk, according to Anfield great Graeme Souness.

England international Maguire has long been linked with some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, with United and Manchester City emerging as the front-runners following the conclusion of last season.

But after weeks of speculation, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed on Friday the Foxes and United had reached an agreement over a fee for the centre-back.

United are reported to be paying £80million, which will see Maguire usurp Liverpool star Van Dijk as the world's most expensive defender, having arrived at the Reds for an estimated £75m in January 2018.

Many baulked at the fee paid for Van Dijk at the time, but he was instrumental in turning Liverpool into Champions League winners and pushing City all the way in the Premier League title race last term.

And Liverpool icon Souness expects Maguire to have a huge impact at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Omnisport at Brighton and Hove Pride on behalf of PaddyPower, Souness said: "I'm a big fan, they're the best two centre-backs out there at this time.

"I really like Maguire. Anyone who gets him, well that's now United, he will improve them. Will it be five per cent, two per cent, 10 per cent?

"Van Dijk, along with the Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, they improved Liverpool enormously. All of a sudden, they weren't vulnerable at the back and that spreads throughout the team, and you become a far more solid unit.

"Liverpool are right now a team that doesn't have any obvious weaknesses. If you're playing against them, who do you target?

"I suppose United have to get back to being that, a team no one likes playing against. Certainly, last year people enjoyed playing against them because they were vulnerable.

"I suppose United will be hoping Maguire does a Van Dijk and brings them all along, makes everyone feel better about themselves and play better."

Graeme Souness was talking to Omnisport on behalf of PaddyPower's Come Out and Play campaign and Proud United, a team of LGBTQ footballers from across the United Kingdom working to tackle homophobia in football.

Trent Alexander-Arnold hopes to serve as a sounding board for Liverpool's next generation after forging a path for academy graduates.

The Merseyside local has gone from first-team debutant to established Premier League starter, World Cup squad member and Champions League winner in less than three years.

His rapid rise will give hope to the likes of Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson as Jurgen Klopp turns to a crop of fresh-faced youngsters for squad depth.

Liverpool have made a conscious decision not to spend in the same manner of recent seasons in this transfer window and, while barely out of his teenage years, Alexander-Arnold is keen to make a contribution to the development of his peers.

"I think I understand that I have a responsibility for the young players," the England right-back told his club's website.

"I try to make sure I am there for them and they know they can come and speak to me.

"Hopefully they know I have been in their situation and I know what they're going through – coming in and out of teams, being rotated, not getting the minutes you want, finding it a little bit too hard or intense, or struggling with fitness and whatnot.

"I have been through it all. I hope they understand that I have, that I am always here for them and that I am always available for them to come and talk."

Alexander-Arnold will be involved when Liverpool face Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, the traditional curtain-raiser of the English top-flight season.

Sadio Mane's absence in the aftermath of his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations will further test a team that failed to win while on tour in the United States.

"Effectively our season starts on Sunday and we've got a massive game against one of the best teams in the world," Alexander-Arnold said.

"Coming in off pre-season, it's going to be tough and intense, but we know we can match them, we've shown that over the years.

"It will be tough, but I am sure we will put in a good effort."

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool must avoid staying in "that moment" of their Champions League triumph if they are to challenge on all fronts this season.

Liverpool take on Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, 64 days after beating Tottenham to claim their sixth European Cup.

Klopp does not fear any complacency from his players heading into the new campaign, but believes his side must put their success behind them in order to focus on achieving even more in 2019-20.

"The players aren't the problem. How would they change in four or five weeks?" Klopp told a news conference.

"The new situation is that it was a big achievement for the club, a big achievement for each individual. They had a completely different summer.

"Everybody is talking to you about it. If you win something then everybody feels the need to tell you first of all congratulations, then where they watched, how they felt, how their family felt, how their friends felt, how their dog felt.

"It's all nice but of course it keeps you in that moment. I want to be completely focused on the new season from a specific point. That's the one thing.

"When we said we have to get rid of the backpack of the history of the club so we can make a step in the right direction, we have to make sure our own history – even though it's a very good one – doesn't keep us in that moment.

"That's very important. We will do that, but we have to learn it. Nobody gives you a book that you can read about how to deal with a Champions League win."

Liverpool ran City close in the league last season, but Pep Guardiola's side retained their title, edging out the Reds by one point.

While City have lost inspirational captain Vincent Kompany, they have brought in club-record signing Rodri and full-back Angelino, with Guardiola hinting on Friday that there were more additions to come before the window shuts.

Klopp's side have been quiet, however, making just two signings – youngsters Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott joining from PEC Zwolle and Fulham respectively.

And Klopp insists City are the favourites to triumph in the Premier League this coming season.

"Because they've won the league twice in a row. That's one reason," he said. "Ours was the first year on that level. We have to prove we can be on that level again. That's how it is.

"The 97 points were no coincidence but it's not like we outplayed all the teams, like we shot them out of the stadium constantly. We needed tied games, close games a lot. We were a real result machine last year, it was really, really impressive.

"The champions are favourites. They didn't lose a player – they have lost Kompany, sorry, and brought in another one. I knew they would do something [in the transfer market].

"If somebody asks if we're favourites in the Champions League we probably couldn't deny it. We don't think it's like this, but then we are in the final twice in a row so obviously we know the way to the final. Does that mean we will be in the final again? It doesn't mean it, but it's possible."

Jurgen Klopp called for change to the Premier League calendar as a fragmented Liverpool prepare to return to competitive action.

The Reds face Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, less than two months on from their victory over Tottenham in the Champions League final.

Sadio Mane has been given permission to miss the match after featuring for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations as recently as July 19.

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and goalkeeper Alisson also remain in doubt after spending a large portion of the close season battling for international silverware in either Egypt or Brazil, where the Copa America was held for over three weeks.

Klopp believes the demands on Premier League players have become untenable, particularly in view of the later start dates for top-flight leagues in Italy, Spain and Germany.

"This discussion, somebody has to start it," Klopp said.

"I spoke with Carlo Ancelotti - Italy has 20 teams as well and starts the season on August 24. [Kalidou] Koulibaly played together with Sadio at the Africa Cup of Nations and has four weeks [of] holiday. He's not even close to coming back.

"I don't know why we start so early. Next year it's Copa [America] and the Euros and we start, I think, the same week. I don't know why.

"The Premier League is such a wonderful product that everybody will watch it anyway.

"We don't need these two weeks where nobody is playing in the whole world, only England.

"I love football, I want to play, from my point of view we can play each week, I love it, but somebody has to think of the players and obviously nobody is doing it.

"From time to time I start the discussion, and then it's like 'oh, he's looking for excuses' but we have to think about these things and nobody, especially in England, is really thinking about it."

Liverpool, who pushed City for the Premier League title until the final day last term, travelled to the United States for three pre-season matches last month and lost two and drew one.

Klopp added: "Clubs want us to go on tours. With who? I can go alone. I'm not sure that's enough. This is the situation."

Pep Guardiola has hit back at Jurgen Klopp's claims Liverpool cannot match Manchester City's spending in the transfer market, insisting the German's comments are not true.

City face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday, as last season's Premier League title rivals go head-to-head at Wembley.

Speaking in July, Klopp named City - along with Paris Saint-Germain and Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid - as clubs who can constantly spend big in the transfer market.

However, Guardiola has refuted Klopp's comments, claiming City are only able to spend within their means, adding Liverpool's expenditure on Alisson, Naby Keita and Fabinho last season proved the Reds can also make big moves.

"It bothers me because is not true that we have spent £200million every window," Guardiola told a news conference.

"Liverpool is not a small team, so of course I don't like it because it is not true. Last season we spent on just one player [Riyad Mahrez].

"We cannot spend £200m every season - like for example Liverpool have spent £200m last season, they cannot spend £200m this season.

"We have signed one player in Angelino with a buy-back clause and that is the reason. So clubs cannot spend a lot of money.

"What happens in other clubs like Barcelona I do not know because I am not there. If they think they can do it then they will do it. With Financial Fair Play if the clubs cannot do it, they will be punished.

"I cannot comment on the other clubs, I can just say that is not true."

Guardiola did, however, laud Klopp for his superb work in turning Liverpool into title challengers.

"Class manager, top manager," Guardiola said. "So good, incredible challenge for me every time we face his teams. His message is always positive in the way his team plays.

"I think it is so good for football that the message is always in a positive way. Sometimes some exceptions, but most of the times it is good."

City pipped Liverpool to the league title by one point last season, with an FA Cup triumph over Watford rounding off a remarkable season in which Guardiola's side won an unprecedented domestic treble.

The success was not enough for any City players to be nominated for the FIFA Best Men's Player, however, with Champions League winners Liverpool having three of their stars shortlisted.

And when asked if City could improve on last season's achievements, Guardiola - himself up for the Best Coach award alongside Klopp - took a swipe at the nominations.

"We won almost every trophy, not all of them. It is quite remarkable," Guardiola said. "Not enough to have our players in the best players in Europe but better than the first seasons.

"And now we start the pre-season and talk about what to do, the players know it. They will be stronger. We are ready to accept the challenge to be there at the end."

Manchester City's attempts to extend Leroy Sane's contract have run in to trouble amid persistent speculation the player will join Bayern Munich in a mega-money move.

Sane has been linked with a switch to Bayern throughout the close season with the Bundesliga champions taking the unusual step of explicitly rejecting reports by Kicker and Bild on Thursday that the Germany winger was close to joining them.

That followed a climbdown in some public courting of the 23-year-old, who Bayern head coach Niko Kovac described as a "dream signing" his club were "working very hard" to secure.

Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic expressed disappointment with those words and no questions regarding the matter were permitted at Kovac's news conference ahead of Saturday's DFL-Supercup meeting with Borussia Dortmund.

Sane was also predictably on the agenda at Pep Guardiola's briefing to preview Sunday's Community Shield clash with Liverpool at Wembley and the City manager said moves to keep the ex-Schalke man at the Etihad Stadium beyond June 2021 had taken a backwards step.

"I said many times I want players that want to stay. It is impossible for me as a manager to convince a player whose head is away from here," Guardiola said.

"But the player [Sane] didn't tell me anything. If they go to the door and tell me I want to leave then I say okay. Nobody tells me that so that is why he is our player.

"We want him to stay, we try to extend the contract for more than one year. We were quite close some months ago and now it is a little bit different. That is the reality I cannot say anything more."

Asked further about Sane's contract situation, Guardiola said City's director of football Txiki Begiristain had reported a setback over recent weeks.

"What I said two or three weeks ago, in relation with Txiki, was 'Wow, it is quite close'. Now, it is not," he explained.

Following Bayern's recent moves to seemingly keep relations between themselves and City cordial, Guardiola insisted he harboured no ill will towards his former employers.

"No I am not disappointed," he added. "First because I know them and I know how it works in this world, everybody talks.

"Sometimes I talk too much. I'm pretty sure they don't do it most of the time.

"It is important we have our player. Leroy is here and we try to be ready to play the season."

Stephanie Frappart will become the first female official to referee a major UEFA men's match when she takes charge of the Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea.

UEFA have confirmed Frappart, who refereed the FIFA Women's World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands in Lyon, will officiate the clash between the Champions League and Europa League winners in Istanbul on August 14.

Frappart will lead a team made up of predominantly female officials in the European season's curtain raiser, with Manuela Nicolosi of France and Michelle O'Neal from the Republic of Ireland appointed as the assistant referees.

 

Manchester City have been left bemused after Jurgen Klopp claimed Liverpool do not inhabit the same transfer 'fantasy land' as the Premier League champions.

City's chief operating officer, Omar Berrada, described the comments as "curious" after Klopp grouped them with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in terms of sustained squad investment.

"It looks like there are four clubs in the world who can do it constantly. Madrid, Barcelona, City and PSG. You cannot compare that," the German said earlier this week.

Liverpool have signed two teenagers - Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott - since winning the Champions League, while City broke their club record fee to secure midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid.

"We were a little bit surprised," Berrada said. "Liverpool are a great sporting rival.

"I don't know why they would make these comments. I don't know why they would look at other clubs. It's not frustration or anger, we just find it curious that they'd be highlighting our spending.

"We're fine with their spending.

"The reality is that all the top clubs invest as they see fit. Saying us, PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona always invest £200million is not correct. We don't look at what others do."

Liverpool themselves spent over £100m on Alisson, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri prior to the start of last season, which saw them finish as runners-up to City in the Premier League.

The clubs face each other in the Community Shield on Sunday.

Manchester United could end up with not one but two Juventus attackers by the end of the transfer window.

Heavily linked to Paulo Dybala as they look to sell Romelu Lukaku, Mario Mandzukic has emerged as another target for the Red Devils.

It is going to be a busy couple of days, with the Premier League window set to slam shut on August 8.

 

TOP STORY – MANDUZKIC TO FOLLOW DYBALA TO OLD TRAFFORD?

Growing reports suggest Juventus pair Mandzukic and Dybala are being pushed to join Manchester United.

United striker Lukaku has agreed a €9million salary with Juventus, according to Goal, as the Red Devils look to sign Dybala in exchange.

Dybala is reportedly demanding €12m to make the move to Manchester, with the deal hinging on the Argentina international swapping Turin for Old Trafford.

Tuttosport, Goal and other outlets are also claiming Mandzukic has been discussed with United, in what would be a separate transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Manchester City have set Leroy Sane's asking price at €158m (£145m) as Bayern Munich look to sign the Germany international.

Real Madrid are seriously considering a move for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, Marca reports. Manchester United star Paul Pogba has emerged as a key target for Madrid. However, Zinedine Zidane's side are eyeing a €60m bid for Van de Beek.

- Champions League holders Liverpool are pondering a bid for Bordeaux forward Francois Kamano as Jurgen Klopp looks to add depth to his attacking options, according to The Sun.

- The Sun also reports that Arsenal have been put off by West Ham's £60m valuation of defender Issa Diop, who has also been linked to Manchester United. Arsenal have already signed William Saliba but the teenage defender has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign.

Radamel Falcao will not be leaving Monaco for Turkish side Galatasaray, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 33-year-old has been hampered by injuries since moving to Monaco in 2013.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United and Leicester City are £15m apart in their valuation of centre-back Harry Maguire. In one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas this off-season, United have been tipped to sign Maguire in a world-record transfer for a defender, however, the England international is yet to arrive at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are reportedly offering £70m plus add-ons, while Leicester want £85m plus add-ons.

Juventus and Marseille have made offers for Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda, claims Sport. Juve reportedly want the 19-year-old on a permanent deal, while Marseille are open to bringing him to Ligue 1 on loan.

- As Lukaku nears a switch to Juventus, FCInterNews says Inter have turned to Atalanta's Duvan Zapata. The Colombia forward, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season, is valued at €60m and Inter are willing to include Matteo Politano in exchange.

Liverpool have already forgotten about their Champions League success, insists Andy Robertson, as they target further silverware.

The Reds came up short in the Premier League title race last season but delivered Jurgen Klopp's first trophy at Anfield with their sixth European Cup triumph, beating Tottenham in the final.

Rather than fondly reflect on that victory, though, star left-back Robertson says Liverpool plan to move on quickly and the shine has already worn off.

The Scotland captain is already plotting Liverpool's next big win as they face Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday.

"The day we came back [for pre-season] it wore off for us," Robertson said.

"We had to do our American tour, and our owners wanted to do some things with the cup which was great, but, for us, the first day we came back, it's really forgotten about until we retire.

"Honestly, the focus now needs to be on winning more trophies, because that Champions League is now in the past."

He explained: "We don't want to be the team that only won one trophy – of course it's a big one, but we want to be a team that wins a host of trophies.

"We are a long way off that, but we need to kick on this season and get another one under our belts. That's the aim."

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