Here, Fussball Server rounds up the latest transfer talk for Manchester City on Wednesday, August 26.
The summer transfer window has now begun, with rumours and speculation continuing to swirl as Manchester City eye possible reinforcements.
The 2018-19 champions did not bring in a single player during the January transfer window, despite suffering a defensive shortage for much of the 2019-20 campaign, but they have already started their business for the summer.
Here, Fussball Server rounds up the latest news on possible comings and goings at the Etihad.
Wednesday morning’s Manchester City transfer talk news roundup:
Manchester United ‘among clubs considering Lionel Messi move’
Manchester United are reportedly one of six clubs considering a move for Lionel Messi following the Argentine’s request to leave Barcelona.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is understood to have informed the club of his intention to leave this summer, sparking a potential legal battle over a clause in his contract.
Messi believes that he should be allowed to leave on a free transfer due to a clause which expired in June but could have been extended in line with the prolonged season due to coronavirus.
Even if the 33-year-old is available for free, only a select few clubs in world football could afford his wages – thought to be at least £500,000 per week – and The Mirror reports that Manchester United are one of those.
The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a big-money bid for Jadon Sancho throughout recent months and are known to be interested in a right winger, meaning that Messi’s bombshell could alter their transfer plans.
However, local rivals Manchester City have been installed as the favourites to sign the Argentina international due to the presence of Pep Guardiola at the club.
Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Chelsea have also been linked, while a possible switch to Juventus to join up with perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo has also been touted.
Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history, having scored 634 goals in 731 games for Barcelona.
Former Barcelona chief insists Lionel Messi cannot leave for free this summer
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has insisted that Lionel Messi cannot leave the club for free this summer.
Messi is understood to have submitted a transfer request following a trophyless 2019-20 campaign and is hopeful of being allowed to rip up the one remaining year on his contract.
The 33-year-old’s deal stipulated that he could leave on a free transfer this summer, but Barcelona insist that clause expired in June, 10 days after the Champions League final was initially due to take place.
However, Messi’s camp claim that the clause should have been extended in line with the prolonged season due to the coronavirus lockdown, with the Champions League final eventually not being played until August 23.
Laporta has insisted that Messi does not have a legal right to claim that, though, and urged the club to hold out for his full €700m (£630m) release clause to be paid if he is to leave this summer.
“[Messi] cannot leave. He will have to leave in 2021. I have seen the contract and it is very clear. The clause ended in June and there is no going back. I prefer him to leave next year for zero than to go now for less than €700m,” Gaspart told Radio MARCA.
“The club is in charge here, not the player. The club paid the players. And this is not a matter of money, there is a signed contract and that’s it. I love Messi very much, but I love Barcelona more. Let the clause be paid.
“They did it to me one night treacherously with [Luis] Figo and I did the same with Rivaldo, because I loved Barcelona. And here it’s the same. There is a clause of €700m and the contracts are signed to fulfil them. I understand there is pressure from others for him to leave, but if I were the president of Barcelona then I wouldn’t negotiate a euro.
“If Messi leaves for less than what his clause is worth it will be more humiliating than the 8-2 [defeat]. And Messi should not forget that the fans love Barcelona more than the player. And if Messi leaves next year, well, bad luck, he goes aged 34.
“I don’t understand why he is leaving Barcelona. Well, I do understand because I know these plays by football players well. We all want him to stay at Barcelona. Doesn’t he want to stay? What’s going on? Are the millions of club members who ask him to stay not worth it?
“Does he think that Barcelona have not helped him to be what he is? Messi is loved a lot and I hope he will enjoy one more year [at Barcelona]. I’d rather him go for free next year than this one for €699m. They shouldn’t lower [his price] one euro.”
Messi joined Barcelona’s La Masia academy 19 years ago and has gone on to break a plethora of records at the club, including scoring an unrivalled 634 goals.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Inter Milan and Chelsea are among the clubs rumoured to be monitoring his situation.
More transfer news from Manchester City:
Lionel Messi ‘demanding to be let go from Barcelona on a free transfer’
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is reportedly on course for a legal battle with the club after claiming that a clause in his deal allowing him to leave for free is valid. Read more.
Massimo Moratti: ‘Inter Milan are trying to sign Lionel Messi’
Inter Milan have either already made a move for Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, or will soon do so, according to the club’s former president Massimo Moratti. Read more.