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Ex-City star Johnson denies sex offences with underage girl

Arriving at court - Ex-Man City star Adam Johnson Credit: PA Pictures

Ex-Manchester City winger Adam Johnson has denied three charges of sexual activity with a girl under 16 in his first appearance at Crown Court.

The 27-year-old England international, who appeared in the dock at Durham Crown Court dressed in a grey suit and white shirt, also denied one charge of grooming.

Johnson, who now plays for Sunderland, entered the court surrounded by his legal team, and spoke to enter his not guilty pleas.

He was arrested in March after he was accused of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

The three counts of sexual activity with a child were alleged to have taken place on one night in January at two locations in County Durham, while the offence of meeting a child after sexual grooming was alleged to have happened between December and February.

Johnson, who has played 12 times for England, lives in Castle Eden, County Durham.

Born in Sunderland, Johnson began his career at Middlesbrough before moving to Manchester City and then Sunderland for £10million in 2012.

Sheikh Mansour convinced Yaya Toure to stay at City, says agent

Yaya Toure was linked in reports with clubs including Inter Milan and Chelsea. Credit: PA Images

Yaya Toure decided to stay at Manchester City after being assured he is a key figure in the club's future by owner Sheikh Mansour, his agent has said.

Playmaker Toure looked to be on his way out of the Etihad Stadium this summer and was linked in reports with clubs including Inter Milan and Chelsea.

However agent Dimitri Seluk has confirmed Toure will remain at the club he joined from Barcelona five years ago.

City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan waves from the stands at the Ethiad Credit: PA Images

Seluk said in the Sunday Mirror: "Yaya is staying - because Sheikh Mansour told him he must stay.

"Mansour told Yaya that he is still a very important player and that he was the first big player to join City after the takeover.

"He told him that City wouldn't even discuss a sale.

"This is good. People have tried to say that Yaya only wanted more money, but it was never about money. It was only about respect."

Seluk had previously claimed Toure was "90 per cent certain" to leave City at the end of the season.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini repeatedly stated his desire to hang on to the Ivory Coast midfielder, with the 32-year-old having two seasons left on his contract.

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Manchester City Women FC and Manchester Metropolitan University team up

Credit: MCWFC

Manchester City Women's Football Club have announced a new partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.

In each of the four years of the programme players from the Man Met University Women's team will experience a training session led by MCWFC and university coaching staff will be able develop from observing their own training sessions.

Also the University's Events Management course will be given access behind the scenes at Manchester City Women's match-day events and will have the opportunity to 'manage' a home fixture to put into practice what they have learnt.

Players and coaches from Manchester City Women will be invited to the University as guest speakers at open days.

Steph Houghton, Manchester City and England Captain said of the partnership:

“The Manchester City Women’s team are proud to be involved in this unique venture that aims to give students hands-on experience managing a real match-day event.

“Nothing beats the buzz of a football crowd and it will provide a good test for students to put what they have learned in the classroom into practice.”

Man City star Bacary Sagna put through his paces by teen hopeful

Manchester City star Bacary Sagna was put through an extra training session as he helped launch new state-of-the-art football facilities close to the club’s Etihad Stadium.

Sagna joined defender Paula Radtke from Manchester City Women’s Football Club and James Horsfield and Angus Gunn from the EDS side, to officially open a £350,000 multi-use football pitch which will be used by students at neighbouring Connell College and young people from the surrounding area.

Teenager Mark Lucas, from Newall Green High School, was handed the honour of hosting the training session.

Mike Hall reports.

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Wenger: 'I believe that Pellegrini is of super-competence'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Patrick Vieira has the credentials to become a successful manager. But the Gunners boss thinks Manchester City already have a man of "super" calibre in their top job in Manuel Pellegrini.

Vieira, one of Wenger's most influential former Gunners captains, is currently the manager of City's elite development squad. Recent speculation over Pellegrini's future has seen the Frenchman mentioned as a potential successor to the Chilean at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsene Wenger Credit: PA Images

"I believe like many other players he has the intelligence and the competence to do this job, but I believe that Pellegrini is of super-competence and super-quality as well - so if you want me to interfere in that, I am not ready to do it."

– Arsene Wenger

Pellegrini's position has come under scrutiny as City have collapsed in the Barclays Premier League title race in the second half of the season.

The defending champions were joint top in January but are now fourth after a dismal three months in which they also went out of the Champions League and FA Cup.

A host of names have been linked with Pellegrini's job-also including Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone, Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez - but City have given no indication they are considering a change.

Police investigate City fan's chant about Munich air disaster

Credit: PA

Police are investigating after video footage was posted online appearing to show Manchester City fans chanting about the Munich air crash.

The footage shows supporters taunting United fans outside Old Trafford just yards from a memorial to those who died in the tragedy.

It appears to have been shot on Sunday after City’s 4-2 defeat in the Manchester Derby.

The Manchester Evening News reports that the chants included sick references to the 1958 air disaster which killed 23 people including a number of United players.

Police have launched an investigation. They say a handful of City Fans were also ejected from the stadium for making offensive gestures.

During Sunday’s derby match, a handful of people were ejected by the stewards for making offensive gestures and remarks relating to the Munich air disaster.

Greater Manchester Police and the two clubs will now be examining video evidence from the fixture to see whether further action is necessary.

– A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police told the Manchester Evening News

The news comes four years after Manchester City paid tribute to those killed by laying a wreath at the crash site in Germany.

We are currently liaising with Greater Manchester Police with regard to the behaviour of a small number of Manchester City fans at the game.

We operate zero tolerance policy with regard to incidents of this kind, and the club will work with GMP to assist with their queries and deal appropriately with anyone found to have committed an offence of this nature.

– A spokeswoman for Manchester United told the Manchester Evening News

Looking ahead to the Manchester derby - some famous past meetings

Michael Owen celebrates his winner in 2009 Credit: PA Pictures

Manchester City will aim to pick up the pieces after their morale-sapping defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday and claim a win over rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Here's a look at some recent memorable meetings between the two Manchester giants:

Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3 - Premier League, September 20, 2009

Michael Owen scored a dramatic late winner in a thrilling derby at Old Trafford. City had come from behind to level on three occasions throughout the match, including in the 90th minute when Craig Bellamy thought he had ensured City took a share of the spoils. It was not to be, however, as Owen slotted in the winning goal after six minutes of stoppage time.

Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0 - FA Cup, April 16, 2011

After failing to win either of the season's league encounters, City managed to defeat their bitter rivals at Wembley in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The match was a cagey affair before Yaya Toure scored the winning goal after 52 minutes. City went on to win the cup, defeating Stoke in the final.

Manchester United 3 Manchester City 2 - Community Shield, August 7, 2011

United managed to exact revenge on City for their FA Cup defeat with a stunning second-half comeback at Wembley. Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko had put City 2-0 in front at half-time, but United responded brilliantly after the break with goals from Chris Smalling and Nani just before the hour levelling things up. Then, in the 90th minute, Nani added his second of the game to secure the Shield for United.

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6 - Premier League, October 23, 2011

City produced a brilliant display to completely dismantle their local title rivals. The first half had been close, with City leading narrowly thanks to a Mario Balotelli strike. However, it all changed in the second period once Jonny Evans had been sent off two minutes after the restart. United capitulated and goals from Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and two from Dzeko ensured City thoroughly embarrassed their neighbours.

Balotelli nets his second in 2011 Credit: PA Pictures

Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0 - Premier League, April 30, 2012

This was arguably the most important Manchester derby in decades. The two clubs were battling it out for the Premier League title, with United going into the game three points ahead of City. The Sky Blues scored the winner on the stroke of half-time when captain Vincent Kompany nodded in from a corner. Victory moved City to the top of the Premier League on goal difference, having been eight points behind United just a month prior. City held their nerve and beat United to the league title come May.

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