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Gossip: City eyeing £27m Inigo Martinez swoop?

A new name has been added to the ever-growing list of alleged City transfer targets: Inigo Martinez.

Every day, different media outlets claim to have ‘the latest’ scoop on supposed deals and discussions – some even contradicting each other, as we read in Sunday’s edition of Media Watch.

It can become rather tedious.

Today however, there’s s newbie, as the Manchester Evening News report the Blues are ready to splash £27million to activate Real Sociedad defender Martinez’s release clause in a bid to bolster their defensive options.

Stuart Brennan writes: “The Blues have been hunting a mystery centre back after it became apparent that top target Leonardo Bonucci was unlikely to join them.

“Martinez is a Spain international and has been likened to Barcelona legend Carles Puyol in style – and with Vincent Kompany still to prove he is back for the long haul, John Stones still raw and Nicolas Otamendi erratic in form, another centre back is needed.

“As a left-footed, footballing centre back Martinez fits the bill of what City want to reinforce their defence.

“Martinez is also said by Marca to be wanted by Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan, but has already begun pre-season with his club Real Sociedad.

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“Martinez is not the biggest centre back, at five ft 11 ins, but is strong in the air, reads the game well and can also play at left back, a facet of his game which will also interest Pep Guardiola.”

Elsewhere, the Telegraph believe City remain confident of securing Dani Alves’ services, despite Paris Saint-Germain’s late attempt to hijack a deal.

According to James Ducker: “City had been in pole position to land Alves after the Brazil right back terminated his contract with Juventus.

“Alves played under City manager Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and the pair have held talks ahead of what looked like being a straight forward reunion.

“City remain confident Alves will join them and have been given no indications to suggest the situation has changed but PSG are seeking to muscle in at the eleventh hour and steal the 34-year-old from under the noses of City.

“Neither Alves nor his representation have indicated they are considering PSG's advances.

“The French club believe they are close to an agreement and can pull off a considerable coup although City would not lose the player lightly.

“Alves got married to Joana Sanz in a secret wedding in Ibiza on Saturday and his playing future should be resolved in the coming days.

“If City did miss out on Alves, it would be a dramatic and unexpected blow for Guardiola as he bids to strength the full back positions, and leave the manager searching for another target.

“The Catalan wants at least three new full backs with talks ongoing for Tottenham's right back Kyle Walker and Monaco's left back Benjamin Mendy. City had hoped to have Alves, Walker and Mendy in place by the time they fly to the US a week on Monday (July 17) for the start of their pre-season tour but they face an important next week in pursuit of their priority targets.

“Southampton's Ryan Bertrand is another left back target.”

Meanwhile, there’s talk of another ‘hijack’ as United, Tottenham and Juventus are apparently also keen on alleged City target Cengiz Under.

Emre Sarigul scribes: “Manchester City sent club officials to Istanbul on Thursday to hold talks with Basaksehir over Under.

“Negotiations went on for four hours, City made an €8m offer falling just short of the €10m demanded by the Istanbul based outfit.

“City are favourites to sign the 19-year-old and the only club currently involved in advanced level talks.

“It turns out that the Citizens are not the only side that have made an offer.

“Details of the other bids have yet to be disclosed but Turkish-Football have reported Manchester United, Tottenham and Juventus interest in Under.

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“The Turkish international played a vital role for Basaksehir last season.

“The Istanbul minnows were surprise runners-up and reached the Turkish Cup final.”

Finally, in other news, former Blue Dietmar Hamann has spoken of his admiration for Gabriel Jesus, stating the Brazilian will be City’s “star turn” next season.

As quoted in a Squawka article, the German purred: “In attack I still don’t think there’s anyone more potent than City – and I think Jesus will be the star turn next season.

“He’s clearly a talented boy with the right mindset.

“I read an interview with him recently and he said he wasn’t bothered about fame – he just goes out and does what he does best. I think he could be the game-changer.

“You need someone to get you 25 goals a season. Despite their firepower at times City have struggled to win games. It’s the hardest job to score goals.

“But Jesus not only does that, he sets them up.

“He will be the key player to help City win the title. Despite an early injury he still looked special last season, the kind to make the difference on a regular basis. If he stays fit, City fans will have a lot of joy with him.”

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