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 By Mark Lovell

Man City's Kevin De Bruyne the one that got away for Bayern Munich

While admitting he must win titles to usurp the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola has 'no doubt' that Kevin De Bruyne is a contender for the Ballon d'Or.

The list of top players Bayern Munich have plucked away from Bundesliga rivals grows every year: Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer in recent seasons, soon to be followed by Leon Goretzka in the summer.

But Bayern may rue missing out on one particular star: Kevin De Bruyne, Germany's Player of the Year in 2014-15, and now the driving force behind Manchester City's assault on four fronts.

"I would give the shirt off my back for him," current Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes...

 By David Mooney

Ilkay Gundogan, Fernandinho boss proceedings in Basel for Man City

Ilkay Gundogan scored twice as Manchester City put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a dominant win over FC Basel.
Ilkay Gundogan scored twice as Manchester City put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a dominant win over FC Basel.
The ESPN FC crew debate whether Manchester City's 4-0 victory was the result of brilliant team play or a poor opponent.
Pep Guardiola hails Ilkay Gundogan who scored twice for Manchester City in their 4-0 Champions League win in Basel.

The Manchester City juggernaut was eased into cruise control for large spells of their Champions League tie with FC Basel and with four away goals to their name and a clean sheet, you'd have to think the heavy lifting from Pep Guardiola's side has all been done in the first leg. This was far from City's best display of the season, but they made it look easy against the Swiss champions.

FC BaselFC Basel
Manchester CityManchester City
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4
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Positives

With the tie as good as won, City can now focus on their FA Cup and League Cup challenges in Wigan...

Man City outclass Basel with Kevin De Bruyne again showing he's among the best

Ilkay Gundogan scored twice as Manchester City put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a dominant win over FC Basel.
Ilkay Gundogan scored twice as Manchester City put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a dominant win over FC Basel.
The ESPN FC crew debate whether Manchester City's 4-0 victory was the result of brilliant team play or a poor opponent.

BASEL, Switzerland -- Three thoughts on Manchester City's 4-0 win over Basel on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.

1. City take care of business 

Ruthless, fearless and simply a class above, Manchester City showed why they are seen as one of the favourites for the Champions League, even if manager Pep Guardiola isn't sure if his side are quite ready to compete for the trophy yet.

City took their swaggering Premier League form to Basel and destroyed the Swiss...

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne a Ballon d'Or candidate - Pep Guardiola

While admitting he must win titles to usurp the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola has 'no doubt' that Kevin De Bruyne is a contender for the Ballon d'Or.
The FC crew choose between Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne as man of the match in Man City's win over Leicester City, after both earned a 10/10 from ESPN FC's David Mooney.
Four goals from Sergio Aguero and a trio of assists from Kevin De Bruyne paved the way for Man City in a comfy win over Leicester.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down Sergio Aguero's four-goal outing against Leicester and ponders what Pep Guardiola's long-term plans are for him.

MANCHESTER -- Kevin De Bruyne should be in contention for the Ballon d'Or if he brings success to Manchester City, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

The award, for the world's best player, has been shared between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the past decade.

But Belgium international De Bruyne has been in brilliant form this season, contributing a hat trick of assists in Saturday's 5-1 victory over Leicester City.

Guardiola, asked whether he was a serious contender for the award, said: "No...

 By PA Sport

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero hails 'great player' Kevin De Bruyne

Four goals from Sergio Aguero and a trio of assists from Kevin De Bruyne paved the way for Man City in a comfy win over Leicester.
While admitting he must win titles to usurp the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola has 'no doubt' that Kevin De Bruyne is a contender for the Ballon d'Or.
The FC crew choose between Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne as man of the match in Man City's win over Leicester City, after both earned a 10/10 from ESPN FC's David Mooney.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down Sergio Aguero's four-goal outing against Leicester and ponders what Pep Guardiola's long-term plans are for him.

Sergio Aguero diverted praise to Kevin De Bruyne despite scoring four goals in Manchester City's 5-1 thrashing of Leicester.

Aguero, City's top scorer, ran riot in the second half at the Etihad Stadium, scoring his third hat trick of the season to take his total for the campaign to 28 and his overall City tally to 197.

But he and City again owed a lot to the irrepressible De Bruyne, who created his side's opening three goals in another outstanding display.

"Luckily Kevin De Bruyne is playing for...

 By David Mooney

Aguero and De Bruyne perfect as Manchester City steamroll Leicester

The FC crew choose between Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne as man of the match in Man City's win over Leicester City, after both earned a 10/10 from ESPN FC's David Mooney.
Four goals from Sergio Aguero and a trio of assists from Kevin De Bruyne paved the way for Man City in a comfy win over Leicester.
While admitting he must win titles to usurp the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola has 'no doubt' that Kevin De Bruyne is a contender for the Ballon d'Or.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down Sergio Aguero's four-goal outing against Leicester and ponders what Pep Guardiola's long-term plans are for him.
Raheem Sterling delights in finding the back of the net for Manchester City against Leicester, saying he he beat himself up all week after his miss at Burnley.

After a tough first half in which Leicester managed to contain Manchester City for long spells, Pep Guardiola's side showed their ruthlessness after the break to run away with a 5-1 win. Sergio Aguero's four-goal haul will take the headlines, as will Kevin De Bruyne's incredible portfolio of assists, but barring one counter-attack in the first period, the home side got the job done with relative comfort.

Positives

The lead at the top of the Premier League table has been extended to 16 points,...