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Pep Guardiola ‘eyes £41m Erling Haaland alternative’ as Real Madrid plot Man City raid – Jake Stokes



Welcome to the City Is Ours daily round-up, your daily dose of Manchester City news that you might have missed.

City’s pursuit of a replacement for Sergio Aguero dominated the back pages over the summer, and with every big club in Europe set to battle it out for the signing of Erling Haaland, Pep Guardiola is already considering other options.

Meanwhile,Real Madrid are monitoring a City youngster and Barcelona are already plotting their next move should their Raheem Sterling chase hit the buffers…

Barcelona consider Sterling alternatives

The speculation surrounding Sterling’s future at City doesn’t look like cooling any time soon, yet ESPN report that Barcelona are already searching for alternative options.

It’s understood that Chelsea duo Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner are on Xavi’s January wish list, though Sterling remains their main priority.

The report adds that Barca are unwilling to pay the sort of money required to prise Sterling away from City and so have been forced to assess their options.

Our view: In all honesty, if Barca can’t afford Sterling then I can’t see them being able to afford either Ziyech or Werner.

Both arrived at Stamford Bridge for hefty fees and Chelsea are unlikely to be willing to let either leave on cut-price deals given their respective contracts have plenty of time left to run.

I’d be quite happy to see them turn their attention elsewhere as I do see a future for Sterling at City, but I’m not sure either Werner or Ziyech are the answer.

Guardiola plots Haaland backup plan

City could turn their attention to Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri in the summer should a deal for Erling Haaland fail to materialise, according to Fichajes (via Sport Witness ).

En-Nesyri has been tipped to fill the void of Sanchez at Arsenal
Youssef En-Nesyri is reportedly on City’s radar

The report claims that the 24-year-old Moroccan striker is available for €50 million (£41.2 million) but is not the Premier League champions’ primary target.

En-Nesyri has directly contributed towards five goals in nine games across all competitions this season for the La Liga side, despite playing an average of just 59.4 minutes per game.

Our view: Obviously Haaland would be the ideal summer signing for City and En-Nesyri would be a decent addition, but the report notes the Sevilla forward isn’t at the top of Guardiola’s wish list.

Given City’s extraordinary financial muscle, I’d be surprised if En-Neysri did arrive as the replacement for Aguero.

Real Madrid plan Man City raid

Real Madrid have been monitoring City loanee Pedro Porro for quite some time now and it seems the La Liga outfit are keen to follow up on their original interest, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.

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Porro, who joined City in 2019 from Girona for approximately £11 million, has featured 15 times for Sporting Lisbon during the second season of his two-season loan move to the Portuguese side.

Our view: Porro seems to be drawing plenty of plaudits during his time in Portugal and I’d be surprised if Guardiola wasn’t desperate to get him back to the Etihad Stadium.

That being said, Sporting do have the option of making the deal permanent for a fee of around £7 million, so it may be the case that City have already accepted he won’t be returning to the club and Real will need to negotiate with Sporting if indeed the Portuguese outfit decide to trigger the clause in his loan deal and make the move permanent.

Do you want to see City keep ho ld of Pedro Porro? Follow our City Is Ours trends writer Jake Stokes on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.


India’S Daily Covid Tally Outnumbers Recoveries; Fatalities At 447



With 9,765 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,46,06,541, while the active cases increased to 99,763, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. The death toll climbed to 4,69,724 with 477 fresh fatalities including, 403 from Kerala, according to the data updated at 8 am. The ministry said the daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been less than 50,000 for 158 consecutive days now. The active cases comprise 0.29 percent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.35 percent, the ministry said. An increase of 740 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.89 percent. It has been less than two percent for the last 59 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 0.85 percent. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,40,37,054, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.36 percent.

First Published:  IST

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COVID-19: Here’s What Vaccine Makers are Saying on Protection Against Omicron Variant | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel



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With Omicron raising concerns about vaccines’ efficacy, drugmakers are stress-testing existing jabs while also racing to prepare new formulas, according to media reports.

All major drugmakers including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and AstraZeneca have said that they are working to quickly investigate and adapt their shots to a new and highly mutated variant of the virus.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are investigating the new, heavily mutated variant, the Wall Street Journal reported. The companies added they can adapt their mRNA vaccine within six weeks and start shipping batches within 100 days if an escape variant is identified.

Although the company offered reassurance that the fully inoculated people would have a “high level of protection against severe disease” from the new variant, there is, as yet, no conclusive evidence on how immune protection holds up against the heavily mutated variant.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Omicron poses a “very high risk”. The global health body said that scientists all over the world are working to understand Omicron, its risks and whether it causes severe disease, and vaccine effectiveness. The data will be available within two weeks.

Stephane Bancel, chief executive at Moderna, said that currently available vaccines for COVID-19 could likely be less effective against the new Omicron variant. He added that it will take several months before pharma companies can manufacture variant-specific jabs at scale, The Financial Times reported.

The University of Oxford, which makes the coronavirus vaccine with AstraZeneca, in a statement, said there was “no evidence so far” that existing vaccines would not continue to provide protection against Omicron, as they have for previous variants of concern.

It added that they had the “necessary tools and processes in place for rapid development of an updated Covid-19 vaccine if it should be necessary”.

Meanwhile, China on Tuesday said it is ready to tackle the newly detected Omicron coronavirus variant, and it is confident that the country’s mainstream tests will block community transmission.

According to Xu Wenbo, from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccines developed in China remain effective against the new mutated variant, yet to better cope it has made technological reserve preparations in vaccine development, Global Times reported.

Producers of inactivated vaccine, protein subunit vaccine or adenovirus vector vaccine have set about studying the new variant and they are in the process of gene sequencing design, Xu, head for National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention with the China CDC, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Russia’s Gamaleya Institute also believes that both Sputnik V and Sputnik Light will neutralise Omicron.

The Gamaleya Institute, based on existing protocols of immediately developing vaccine versions for variants of concern, has already begun developing the new version of the Sputnik vaccine adapted to Omicron, said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

However, in an unlikely case, such modification is needed, the new Sputnik Omicron version can be made ready for mass-scale production in 45 days, he added.

As per Bancel, the high number of Omicron mutations on the spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells, and the rapid spread of the variant in South Africa, suggested that the current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year.

He said scientists were worried because 32 of the 50 mutations in the Omicron variant are on the spike protein, which current vaccines focus on to boost the human body’s immune system to combat Covid.

As there is still a lack of reliable data on vaccine efficacy against Omicron, WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told the FT that “we believe it’s premature to draw any conclusions about the efficacy of vaccines against Omicron”.

“WHO has convened all our expert groups and scientists are working on experiments to test neutralisation capacity of stored sera from recovered patients or vaccinated individuals against the new variant. This will take a few weeks.”

Swaminathan said “we need to be patient”, pending full “clinical effectiveness studies to truly understand if this variant is able to overcome the immunity generated by existing vaccines”.


The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.

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E-auction of Uppal Bhagayath plots begins in Hyderabad 



Hyderabad: The e-auction of 44 developed plots spread over 1,35,408 square yards in the Uppal Bhagayath Layout began here on Thursday. The auction is being held by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and on the online platform managed by Union government enterprise MSTC Limited.

The auction will be held in two sessions on Thursday. A total of 12 plots will go under hammer in the first session (9 am to 12 noon) and 11 plots will be auctioned in the second session (2 pm to 5 pm). The remaining plots will be auctioned on December 3.

The plots are of different sizes, starting from 150 square yards to 15,149 square yards. They are in the close proximity of Nagole Metro Station developed with amenities including storm water and underground sewerage system. 

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