Raheem Sterling has backed Manchester City team-mate Phil Foden for an England call-up after both were on target in Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Foden is tipped for future stardom and joined Sterling in scoring from off the bench at the Etihad Stadium, collecting an assist from his in-form compatriot to add City's second at the death.

The teenager has only played 10 minutes in the Premier League this season but Sterling feels Foden should be fast-tracked by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.

"I am buzzing for Phil and I want him in the national team, if he keeps going he will be there," Sterling told BT Sport.

"We have seen them [Dinamo] play with the clips that the manager showed and it was difficult to break them down at times.

"A few did not go in but we took our chance and then got the second. It is always disappointing not to start but we had to be patient. I was happy to contribute to the team.

"Players that we have here, you have to read the game and the goals will come."

Foden's second Champions League goal came deep into injury time as City hit the Croatian champions on the break.

"It needed a change of tempo and Raheem brought that well," Foden told BT Sport.

"It is all about enjoying your time on the pitch and I am happy to score and help the team.

"I thought they were putting dangerous balls in the box so to seal the win meant everything.

"You have to show the manager what you can do each day in training, every young kid wants to play but you have to keep patient."

Foden's next chance to impress could come on Sunday, when City host Wolves in the Premier League.

Raheem Sterling is a role model for Phil Foden, who says his ever-improving Manchester City team-mate has the "wow" factor. 

England star Sterling produced the latest in a string of impressive displays during Tuesday's EFL Cup win over Preston, providing a goal and an assist. 

Teenager Foden believes the best is yet to come from Sterling and he is delighted to be able to learn from a player who is proving himself to be among the world's best.

"Every time I watch him, I think 'wow'," he said.

"He's a better player every time I see him. He has got a lot more to come and that is what is good about him. He is still young and improving – and wanting to improve.

"He is a role model – he helps me out a lot and I am just really happy for him.

"He helps in the game and in training and overall, helping me with my game, giving me tips and that is what a young lad needs coming through.

"His performance at Preston … I think he was one of our main players. When he gets the ball, I don't even know what it is, he just glides past players and gets in the right places to score goals. He is always assisting."

Foden's game time under Pep Guardiola has been carefully managed and his outing at Deepdale was his first start of the season.

City boss Guardiola has frequently lauded the 19-year-old's ability and potential, but Foden knows he has to take his chances when they come.

"Any time I get game time is important. I just try and enjoy it," he said.

"It is my boyhood club and it's a dream to play for this club so any time I put the shirt on I just enjoy it to the max.

"I played [on Tuesday] so that is the main thing. I am just looking forward. I am just trying to take my minutes any time they come and do my best."

Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden has no plans to alter his personality in the wake of Pep Guardiola's suggestion that he is "shy" and shows him too much "respect".

Talented teenager Foden has continued to remain on the periphery of City's first team this season, with Guardiola having an enviable battery of attacking midfielders that includes Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and David Silva.

Last month Guardiola said Foden - who has made just three Premier League starts in his career to date and played only 10 minutes this term - needs to be more assertive and start acting like an established member of City's first-team squad given he has been around the group since making his senior debut in 2017.

However, the 19-year-old disagrees with Guardiola's assertion and promised to let his football do the talking.

"He has his own opinions and I stick by how I am," England Under-21 international Foden told reporters.

"I just know that I'm ready to play. I feel like I am. I try to show him every day in training.

"There is a bit of team-mates telling me to be patient but obviously I'm hungry and want to play now.

"I'm going to fight for it every day. I'm ready to play whenever."

Real Madrid look set to finally land a midfielder before the transfer window closes.

The LaLiga giants have been linked to numerous midfielders and, after a slow start to the season, they may make a signing ahead of the window shutting on Monday.

Madrid are reportedly close to strengthening their squad by completing a move for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CLOSE TO SEALING FERNANDES DEAL

Real Madrid have almost completed a deal for Fernandes, according to ESPN.

The Portugal international, 24, was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham earlier in the window.

Now, the Sporting captain looks set for Madrid, who have reportedly targeted United's Paul Pogba, Spurs' Christian Eriksen and Ajax's Donny van de Beek during the close season.

It comes just days after Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade said Fernandes was heading to Madrid for €70million.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Neymar saga will finally end – for now – with the Paris Saint-Germain star staying with the Ligue 1 champions. L'Equipe reports the Brazil international will remain with PSG, while Sport reports Barcelona will resume their pursuit of Neymar in 2020.

- That could mean a few more eyes on Mauro Icardi on Monday. PSG are in talks with Inter over a potential loan deal for the forward, according to RMC Sport and Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Pogba may still be hoping to eventually get his move to Real Madrid. The Mirror reports the France international will resist signing a new deal with Premier League giants Manchester United, with his current contract running until 2021, although the club have an option to extend that by a year.

- Javier Hernandez should get a deadline-day move from West Ham. The Premier League club have agreed to sell the forward to Sevilla for close to €8.9m (£8m), according to Sky Sports News.

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench during Arsenal's draw against Tottenham on Sunday and he could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium a day later. Roma are pressing hard to sign the midfielder on loan with an option to buy, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Phil Foden may have to wait for his chances at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions are keen to keep the teenage midfielder in their squad. The Sun reports City rejected loan bids from Rangers and Roma for the England youth international.

Pep Guardiola wants to see teenage midfielder Phil Foden step up and embrace being part of Manchester City's squad.

Foden, 19, has played just 10 minutes to begin the Premier League season, coming off the bench in a 5-0 win over West Ham.

The England youth international is highly rated by Guardiola, but the City manager wants to see more from Foden.

"He is a shy guy. I would like him to talk more to me, but all the time I go to him and speak to him," Guardiola told UK media.

"He still looks at me like a little bit [too much] respect like a manager – after two or three seasons it's not necessary, but it's normal.

"He is 18, 19 years old, now he goes for [England] Under-21 and he is going to play and he is nice, he is OK, everything is in the right position."

Guardiola has plenty of talent in his squad and City's central midfield is stacked with quality, including Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan.

The Spanish tactician said Foden, like others, would have to be patient in regards to game time.

"That is the reality in a team that achieved four titles last season. If you don't have this squad you can't achieve four titles – impossible," Guardiola said.

"So they have to fight and be patient and don't complain too much, don't blame too much, because the time is coming.

"They have to be prepared because I saw today the schedule with all the fixed plan of the Champions League, away, home, and I said, 'Wow, how many games do we have?'

"Everyone is going to have minutes."

City continue their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Bernardo Silva believes Manchester City prodigy Phil Foden will rank among the world's best midfielders within two years.

A City academy graduate, the homegrown 19-year-old has lived with big expectations since breaking into City's first-team setup in the title-winning 2017-18 season.

Pep Guardiola used him 13 times in the Premier League last term and, in July, went so far as to describe Foden as the "most talented player" he has ever seen, ahead of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Likewise, Portugal international Silva is "very excited" about the youngster's potential and expects him to make a rapid rise to the top of the game, so long as the pressure on his shoulders is carefully managed.

"I just think he's six years younger than me, but he's a huge, huge talent," Silva told the BBC.

"If he keeps working as hard as he does every day, because he does work very hard, and if his mentality is good - and he has that - [then in] one, two years he will be one of the best midfielders in the world.

"To go from the second team of Manchester City to the first one, it is a huge step.

"Me, I was from the second team at Benfica, to Monaco, then always growing, and then Manchester City.

"I don't know what kind of pressure he has, but he enjoys playing football so much and he loves what he does."

Foden, who is yet to win a senior England cap, made a 10-minute cameo off the bench in City's season-opening 5-0 win at West Ham, the 19th Premier League appearance of his career.

Silva added: "He will be successful because when you have a good mentality like he has and when you are good, because he's very good, it's a matter of time.

"Sometimes you need six more months, sometimes you need one more year, but sooner or later he will be one of the best."

Phil Foden is "the most talented player" Pep Guardiola has seen, but the Manchester City manager has not promised the English youngster more game time.

Academy graduate Foden has been in-and-out of City's first-team squad over the past two campaigns, making 26 appearances across all competitions last season.

The 19-year-old came on as a substitute in City's 6-1 friendly win over Kitchee on Wednesday, after returning late to pre-season following his exploits with England at the European Under-21 Championship.

With Guardiola revealing City are unlikely to add to their squad following the arrivals of Rodri and Angelino, Foden could well be afforded more chances in the coming season.

And Guardiola, whose side face Yokohama F.Marinos in their final pre-season match on Saturday, has no doubt over Foden's talent.

"He is the most talented player I have ever seen," the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola said at a news conference.

"His problem is sometimes his manager doesn't put him in starting XI.

"He deserves all the minutes, but with his competitors it isn't easy. He works incredibly. He knows I'm here to help him."

After taking on Marinos, Premier League champions City will travel back to England to prepare for their Community Shield clash with Liverpool at Wembley on August 4.

 

Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley has called on football authorities to stamp out racism after Manchester City star Raheem Sterling was allegedly targeted by abuse during a Premier League game at Chelsea.

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