Man City transfer rumors, drama with Arsene Wenger etc. update

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Manchester City seems to almost certainly have the Premier League title wrapped up. But the way this season has been, Man City could still find a way to lose it.

“Every expert is saying now, even after all the twists and turns, that Manchester are surely title favorites now,” said Arlo White, Premier League announcer for NBC Sports.

“You’d have to agree with them, they are. It looks like they’re going to win it, but we never know this season. There could yet be more twists and turns.”

So plenty of drama for Man City fans on Championship Sunday, but we’ll discuss that later this weekend, for now we’ll move on to other forms of Man City drama, and transfer gossip.

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger called on UEFA to kick Man City out of the Champions League, reports The Sun. Wenger believes Manchester City and other clubs who fall foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations should not be allowed to compete in the Champions League, says a similar story in the Daily Express.

Of course, Wenger wants Man City to be penalized, and miss out on all that additional CL revenue. But it’s certainly not out of any idealism, or sense of pure competition and fair play. He knows the secret to the Man City revival has been all the money they’ve had to spend on top notch players, and he wants to be able to compete for those players. Less money for Man City, more opportunities for the Gunners, so Wenger is making these comments with a selfish interest.

In transfer talk, Man City have joined the race for Ashley Cole, who is set to leave Chelsea as a free agent this summer, according to The Daily Mirror.

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Man City should become champions in the first year in which the EPL is truly available to mainstream Americans. This was the year it took off stateside, and as an American journalist covering it, the tabloid culture of the United Kingdom is new and different to me. In a good way of course. I love the transfer rumors, Man City and otherwise and I love the attention they get. I read Paper Chase on Fox Sports Soccer everyday.

It’s just that Americans aren’t used to emphasizing speculation and rumors as much. It’s not the usual practice. As it says in Fox’s Paper Chase:

Each day we’ll bring you the very latest tabloid rumors as the biggest clubs around splash the cash to bolster their rosters. True or not, they’re always entertaining…

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My favorite part of Premier League Live on NBCSN has been the transfer rumors with Neil Ashton, of the Daily Mail. I asked NBC’s PL Coordinating Producer if he thinks we might see more transfer talk next season on the show?

Pierre Moossa: “I think one of the challenges that had come up covering the season, we’ve always come from an NBC background – an NBC News background – the sports background where you don’t speculate at injuries, you don’t speculate on rumors, you don’t get into a lot of things that are said. You always go off reports and fact. I think when it comes to the Premier League, it’s a real challenge where the story isn’t the speculation.

The story isn’t the rumor; the story is the fact that there’s these rumors and how those rumors affect players, affect clubs, and how the tabloid journalism at times – and it may not be a fair way to describe it – but all the rumors in the back pages and how they dominate the headlines over in the U.K. What’s been nice about Neil is he’s been able to provide us with that insight when it comes to his rumors.

Moving forward, we’ll probably be looking to do a little bit more of that. I think Neil’s insight is incredible and I think we’re going to continue to find that balance. But I also feel like the season dictates what direction we go in.”

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Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks is a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, who’s been featured both in Forbes and on the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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