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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Manchester City, Manchester United trying to beat Chelsea to John Stones?

ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Craig Burley discuss the recent reports that Everton have turned down another Chelsea bid for John Stones.

As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See all the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: City, United join Chelsea chase for Stones

With sources telling ESPN FC on Wednesday that Chelsea have seen an improved bid of £26 million for John Stones rejected by Everton, the Mirror reports that Manchester City are ready to join the race for the 21-year-old centre-back.

While City would reportedly rather let Stones have another full season...

Manchester United preseason tour reveals improving squad still has holes

ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Craig Burley discuss Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's recent comments on Luke Shaw, and how this might be Shaw's breakout season.

One popular explanation for why Manchester United finished fourth last season, and not any higher, was because of the substandard quality of the defence. The counter argument to that was to look at how few goals the team conceded, 37, which was one more than Arsenal, one fewer than City and just five more than champions Chelsea.

So, if it couldn't be the fault of the defence then the attack must be to blame. There were certainly more statistics to support this argument, with United scoring just...

Messi, Suarez, Neymar trident to strengthen in second Barcelona season

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique comments on his team's International Champions Cup performance against Chelsea and says that there will be no further departures from the team this summer.
Messi, Suarez and Neymar are arguably the best attacking trio in the world.

Luis Enrique is very fortunate to have arguably the most spectacular attacking trident in over 115 years of Barcelona history at his disposal. While the Catalans' much-improved defensive stability also played a considerable part, it is clear that the historical Champions League, Liga and Copa del Rey treble achieved last season would have been impossible without difference-makers Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Undoubtedly, Messi is the most talented footballer to ever wear the Barcelona shirt....

 By David Mooney

Man City Premier League campaign will hinge on defensive improvement

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he expects Raheem Sterling to show he is worth the 49 million pounds the club paid for him, after the forward grabbed another two goals in preseason.

It's understandable that confidence has returned to Manchester City supporters ahead of the 2015-16 season. The disappointments of the previous campaign have been swallowed in a wave of optimism, which began to arrive as the club announced the signings of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.

The former seemed to be the answer to offensive problems encountered in Manuel Pellegrini's poor title defence. The side frequently looked like it couldn't break down opponents, and they had an alarming lack of...

 By Chris Wright

Samuel Eto'o's Russian tutor had no idea who he was at Anzhi

Samuel Eto'o's fame evidently does not extend to teachers.

A British language tutor has confessed to spending months teaching former Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan star Samuel Eto'o to speak Russian without having a clue who her world-famous student actually was.

Rebecca Prew, a 23-year-old Russian and French student at Leeds University, was hired to help Eto'o get to grips with the language during the Cameroon striker's time at Anzhi Makhachkala in 2012.

She then spent three months teaching him without realising that the man she was home-schooling...

 By Chris Wright

Eric Cantona throws weight behind campaign to save Bath City

As unlikely as it would seem, renowned actor, sociologist and philosopher Eric Cantona (we think he may have dabbled in football at one point, too) has publicly pledged his support to a campaign launched by Bath City fans to save the cash-strapped club.

City, who currently play in the National League South (England's fifth tier), have been on the brink of financial ruin, and as such, their supporters are rallying in an attempt to raise the money required to purchase the club outright, and then run...