Manchester City won the Community Shield for the second year in a row after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat of Liverpool following a 1-1 draw at Wembley.

City were the best team in the first 45 minutes even after losing Bayern Munich-linked Leroy Sane to injury, with Raheem Sterling giving them a deserved half-time lead with his first goal against Liverpool in his 11th outing versus his old club.

Jurgen Klopp's side improved after the break, though, and Joel Matip's leveller was just reward for their efforts, as City started to wilt in the warm conditions.

The excellent Claudio Bravo made sure the game went to penalties and proved the hero when he kept out Georginio Wijnaldum's effort, allowing Gabriel Jesus to seal victory.

The blow of losing Sane just 11 minutes in was quickly forgotten as City made the most of the resulting free-kick, Liverpool's offside trap all over the place as David Silva flicked Kevin De Bruyne's cut-back across goal and Sterling forced the ball beyond Alisson.

City were in control but Liverpool could have levelled before the break had Mohamed Salah shown a touch of generosity, the forward clipping the outside of the post from a tight angle and then ballooning a second chance over the bar after a poor Oleksandr Zinchenko header, leaving Roberto Firmino angry not to receive a simple pass.

Guardiola then became the first Premier League manager to be booked on the touchline as he reacted furiously to a challenge from Joe Gomez on David Silva, the City boss suggesting the defender's boot had been dangerously high.

Sterling hit the base of the post - although any goal would have been ruled out for offside - as City started the second half strongly, with Guardiola and Klopp resisting the urge to make the most of the maximum six available substitutions at the break.

Liverpool suddenly threatened a leveller and were twice denied by the woodwork, Virgil van Dijk hitting the base of the crossbar with a half-volley and Salah firing against the foot of the right-hand post from the edge of the box.

Sterling then raced through on Alisson but dithered on the ball and the goalkeeper calmly took it back, and it proved a costly miss, with Matip nodding an equaliser past Bravo after Van Dijk picked him out in the six-yard box.

Bravo prevented Naby Keita and Salah from snatching late winners, and the latter was denied from another glorious chance as Kyle Walker's acrobatic clearance on the goal line forced a shoot-out.

Bravo saved comfortably from Wijnaldum's spot-kick - the only one that was missed - before Jesus confidently swept the ball past Alisson and sparked City celebrations.


What does it mean? Little to split the Premier League's top two

City claimed the bragging rights and were certainly the better side early on, but this was another indicator that their league title crown will come under serious threat this season.

Liverpool have not had a particularly encouraging pre-season and there were similar problems laid bare here. The usually imperious defence looked uneasy, Roberto Firmino is short of sharpness and the place for Divock Origi is not wide on the left.

That said, they outplayed City after the break and really should have won in normal time. They look ready to push Guardiola's men all the way again in the top flight.


Bravo brilliant

City's first choice in pre-season while Ederson had an extended break, Bravo was the only reason Liverpool did not win the game in normal time. He then saved Wijnaldum's penalty to secure the trophy.


Zinchenko unconvincing

Liverpool seemed to target Zinchenko and there were times when it was easy to see why. He was outmuscled by Salah too often, twice headed straight to red shirts within 20 yards of his own goal, and it was his foul that led to the equaliser.


What's next?

City begin their Premier League title defence away to West Ham on Saturday. Liverpool kick off the top-flight season on Friday at home to Norwich City.

Leroy Sane went off injured in the first half of the Community Shield clash between Manchester City and Liverpool on Sunday.

The Germany winger was a surprise starter for Pep Guardiola's side, with speculation persisting over a possible move to Bayern Munich.

Guardiola admitted before the match there had been a setback in contract negotiations with Sane, as some reports suggest the 23-year-old has already agreed terms with Bayern.

Sane was nonetheless used from the start at Wembley in a front three alongside Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva, but was hurt nine minutes in after being fouled by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

He could not continue, having apparently jarred his right knee, and hobbled from the pitch to be replaced by striker Gabriel Jesus.

City took the lead following the free-kick, Sterling scoring from close range against his former club after David Silva flicked the ball into his path.

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.

Manchester United and Juventus have been discussing a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala.

However, Tottenham are also interested in the Argentina international.

With the Premier League transfer window to shut on August 8, there is still plenty of twists and turns to come.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS EYE DYBALA AMID UNITED TALKS

Tottenham have made an approach for Juventus star Paulo Dybala, according to SoccerLink.

Dybala is in talks with Manchester United, who have reportedly agreed a deal to send striker Romelu Lukaku to Juventus for the former Palermo forward.

The 25-year-old is reportedly not convinced about joining United and Champions League finalists Tottenham are ready to pounce after manager and fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino tried to convince the player to move to London.

 

ROUND-UP

- The front page of SPORT is dominated by Neymar. The newspaper says Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are working on a loan deal with a non-mandatory purchase option to unlock negotiations. The new formula could accelerate a transfer.

- Manchester United star Paul Pogba fears being priced out of a move to Real Madrid, according to The Mirror. Madrid are in negotiations to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as they struggle to prise Pogba away from Old Trafford.

- The Express says Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is eyeing Real Madrid midfielder Isco and Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake. The Premier League champions are reportedly targeting Ake – who is believed to be wanted by Leicester City – as Manchester United close in on Harry Maguire.

- Napoli have entered the race to sign Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, reports Alfredo Pedulla. However, Lukaku has apparently rejected the offer as he eyes a move to Juventus.

- According to O Jogo, Benfica are plotting a €6million transfer for Partizan Belgrade teenager Strahinja Pavlovic. The 18-year-old defender has been linked with Serie A champions Juventus.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Ligue 1 duo Lyon and Monaco are keen on signing AC Milan attacker Suso.

- Barcelona are close to signing Real Betis full-back Junior Firpo, according to Marca. Mundo Deportivo says the two Spanish clubs have agreed a €25m fee for the 22-year-old.

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."

Wolfsburg have signed Manchester City striker Lukas Nmecha on a season-long loan.

The 20-year-old was born in Hamburg and has represented both England and Germany at Under-21 level, featuring as part of Stefan Kuntz's squad when they finished as runners-up in this year's European Championship.

Nmecha made three senior appearances for City in 2017-18 – all as a substitute – before spending 2018-19 with Preston North End in the Championship.

He only scored four times in 44 appearances for Preston but was on target twice for City during their pre-season tour of Asia last month.

"It had been my aim to play in the Bundesliga and in my home country for some time now," Nmecha told Wolfsburg's official website.

"I’m particularly pleased that this move to VfL Wolfsburg has come off because everything is in place for me here to further my development at the highest level and to realise my full potential."

Wolfsburg finished sixth in the Bundesliga last season, meaning newly installed head coach Oliver Glasner will lead them in the Europa League this time around.

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."

New signing Sarpreet Singh could be a surprise starter for Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup after catching Niko Kovac's eye in pre-season.

Serge Gnabry will miss Saturday's match against Borussia Dortmund because of a muscle issue, leaving a place free on the flank opposite to Kingsley Coman.

Thomas Muller and Alphonso Davies are among the alternatives but New Zealand international Singh, a midfielder by trade, is in contention to continue his rapid rise.

The 20-year-old joined from A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix a month ago and appeared comfortable in friendly appearances against Real Madrid, Arsenal and AC Milan.

"He's a good catch," Kovac said.

"He was planned for the second team but he's shown that he's already a long way ahead of many others.

"I'm very pleased for him and pleasantly surprised.

"With him and Alphonso Davies, you can see they are much further ahead of the others in the second team."

Singh's road to first-team minutes will become tougher if Bayern succeed in their attempts to sign Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

Where the winger will play next season has become a source of angst for both clubs, with Kovac compelled to apologise to opposite number Pep Guardiola after publicly confirming his interest in the 23-year-old.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge rebuked Kovac over the comments and the Croatian took no questions on the subject at his news conference on Friday.

"Everything has been said," he explained.

"Now is the present. We have an important match tomorrow and it's all about that. Dortmund have strengthened, they have been in training longer than us.

"It will be an intense game. Dortmund will be our biggest challenger. We need to be red alert tomorrow."

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.

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