Man City player defended as Pep Guardiola makes pre-season decision

Jeremy Doku during the EURO match between Belgium and Slovakia.
-Credit: (Image: Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Preparations for the 2024/25 Premier League season are now well underway with the fixtures officially coming out in just a few hours.

For Manchester City, the club will be looking to win the title for a fifth season in a row. As the countdown to the campaign continues, eyes turn to both the transfer window and Euro 2024.

Several City players are in action at the tournament representing their international teams. While the competition also provides a chance for clubs and fans to cast a closer eye on any potential transfer targets.

Ahead of the fixture release, we’ve taken a look at a couple of the latest stories doing the rounds and given our own thoughts.

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Jeremy Doku defended

Both Jeremy Doku and Kevin de Bruyne were on the end of a shock defeat in Euro 2024 as Belgium were beaten by Slovakia. Both were named in the starting XI for the game on Monday evening, but Doku’s mistake when he gave the ball away in the seventh minute led to the only goal of the game.

Despite his error, Doku has been defended by national team manager Domenico Tedesco. Speaking after the game, he said: “Of course it (the error) hurts. It hurts for him, it hurts for me, because he is not deserving of that. But it's part of the game.

"In football you will not score many goals without errors, it's part of the game and can happen. Also Slovakia had many errors tonight. It's no problem, this error. This is just football."

MEN Sport says: "Despite his error leading to the goal, Doku did look one of Belgium’s most dangerous players until he was taken off with six minutes left to play. After an impressive season for City, the winger shouldn’t let his mistake impact his confidence and take comfort from Tedesco’s comments.

"Although the loss serves a major blow to Belgium, they still have a good chance of qualifying from the group stages. Doku will be hoping to make up for his mistake when the nation take on Romania on Saturday before playing Ukraine four days later."

Pep Guardiola makes pre-season decision

Pep Guardiola is ready to take forgotten midfielder Joao Cancelo on the club’s pre-season tour to America next month with City refusing to budge on the asking price, according to the Sun.

The 30-year-old spent last season on loan at Barcelona, with City willing to sell for a fee of £25 million. Barca however are said to not be able to pay that fee due to their financial problems.

MEN Sport says: "City are right to stick to their guns over their demands for Cancelo. While his future may not be at the Etihad Stadium, including him in pre-season could potentially put him in the shop window for any other clubs showing an interest in the player. If City know that there is other interest, then they will be better served waiting it out than committing to sending him out on loan again, especially if they know that Barca won’t be able to make a commitment to an agreed fee at the end of the latest deal."