In today’s transfer news round-up, Manchester City have taken a clear lead in the scramble to sign Lionel Messi.
Prior to Barcelona’s humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich two weeks ago, few would have expected Messi to feature in any transfer news stories this summer but the Argentine superstar has reportedly decided to take his supreme talents elsewhere.
In other transfer news; we’ll look at the club considering a reunion with Luis Suarez, provide an update on Jose Mourinho’s pursuit of Matt Doherty and keep an eye on Manchester United’s transfer dealings.
Messi’s dad wasting no time
It’s looking increasingly likely that we see Lionel Messi join Manchester City this summer, with a reunion with Pep Guardiola too appealing for Barcelona’s top goalscorer to turn down.
While Manchester United have made it known that they could afford Messi, the Argentina international would reportedly prefer a switch to the blue side of the city.
According to The Telegraph, City are weighing up a long-term deal which would see Messi play for them for three years before seeing out his career at sister club New York City FC.
The deal could cost City over £500 million but there are still issues with Messi’s contract that need to be ironed out, so much so that the 33-year-old is expected to take part in training with Barcelona on Monday in order to avoid legal problems with the Catalan club.
According to RAC1 and TyC Sports (via The Sun), Messi’s dad is already in England and preparing to negotiate with City chiefs.
Suarez return on the cards
It’s reported that Barcelona’s decision to cut Luis Suarez adrift was the final straw for Messi and it appears that both of the Barca legends will be leaving the club before long.
While Suarez is said to have offers from a number of Premier League clubs – including Arsenal – the Uruguayan forward isn’t overly keen on a return to England’s top flight.
PSG are said to be interested in Suarez but so too are Ajax, the club for which Suarez scored 111 goals in 159 appearances.
The Sun reports that Ajax have confirmed their interest in the 33-year-old, who was told to find a new club in a brutal 60-second phone conversation with new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman.
Ajax director of football Marc Overmars recently admitted that the Eredivisie side is trying to sign Suarez.
Doherty on the cheap
In Irish transfer news, Matt Doherty might be working under Jose Mourinho sooner rather than later as Spurs close in on their wing-back target.
The Independent reports that a deal is close for Doherty and all that is left to finalise is the structure of the fee that Spurs will pay Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves are holding out for a fee in the region of £20 million but Spurs are hoping to bring in the Republic of Ireland international for an up-front figure of £12 million, while the difference could be made up in add-ons.
Doherty’s versatility – the ability to play on either flank – is seen as a massive bonus by Mourinho, who is said to be unconvinced by right-back Serge Aurier.
Manchester United transfer news
Manchester United remain determined to sign Jadon Sancho despite the apparent availability of Lionel Messi.
Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol insists that Sancho continues to be United’s top target this summer but the transfer saga looks set to drag on as Borussia Dortmund hold firm on their valuation of the English winger.
The Red Devils had identified Bournemouth ace David Brooks as a potential alternative to Sancho and the Welsh winger has now been made available for transfer, according to Duncan Castles on The Transfer Window podcast.
In terms of potential defensive arrivals at Old Trafford, United had a £22 million bid for defender Benoit Badiashile rejected by Monaco.
French outlet RMC Sport reports that Monaco manager Niko Kovac is refusing to let the club sell the French defender.