Date: 24th April 2022 at 6:00pm
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Manchester City took a step towards defending their Premier League crown on Saturday, as they beat Watford 5-1 at The Etihad. 

Pep Guardiola’s side cruised to a convincing victory over the relegation-threatened Hornets, with Gabriel Jesus scoring four goals to register his first ever Premier League hat-trick.

The Citizens moved four points clear with the victory, although Liverpool can cut that lead back to a single point with victory over Everton at Anfield on Sunday.

Despite Jesus’ heroics, it appears that the Brazilian will be on his way out of Manchester this summer.

The striker has reportedly been made available for around £30 million, and will follow compatriot Fernandinho out of the exit door after the midfielder confirmed he will return to South America.

It appears that Guardiola is already planning for life without Fernandinho, as City are believed to be rivalling Manchester United for the signing of Declan Rice.

Rice has a host of clubs preparing moves for him this summer 

As per The Daily Mail, the Hammers midfielder has become a target for City as they look for a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.

The report claims that City have asked West Ham to keep them updated on the player’s future, with a view to launching an offer this summer and pipping United to a deal.

The Hammers still value the Englishman at around £100 million, which could prove an issue for City as they are already close to agreeing a huge deal for Erling Braut Haaland.

The England international has been heavily linked with United over the past 12 months, while Chelsea, who Rice spent time with as a youngster, are also believed to be plotting a move.

Despite forking out £100 million for Jack Grealish last summer, City’s net spend is just £37 million over the past year, with the sales of Ferran Torres, Jack Harrison and Angelino going someway towards balancing the books.

That means they could still afford a move for Rice, and Guardiola will reportedly be backed in the market as City look to prevent incoming Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag from getting one of his top targets.

It is believed that Rice would prefer a move to City over United, given the two clubs’ respective circumstances, although he would still also consider a move to boyhood club Chelsea.

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