Football NewsSunday 20th November 2016

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Man City ‘launch £200m Messi bid', West Ham ‘close in on Sturridge’

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Man City ‘launch £200m Messi bid', West Ham ‘close in on Sturridge’

They’ve been trying very hard for eight years, but after a lot of hitting, hammering, rattling and crunching, Manchester City are finally going achieve what their Emirati owners have been threatening to do since they purchased the club. They are officially going to break the bank.

City’s financial coffers have been under immense strain since 2008 but have been able to withstand everything the Arabs have thrown at it, from Yaya Toure’s wages to Roque Santa Cruz.

But the Sunday Mirror reports that Etihad chiefs have found a man who will end its resistance, and he is the only man who could. It’s the world’s greatest footballer, Lionel Messi.

City are said to be putting together a “stunning financial package” in excess of £200m to land the “unsettled” Barcelona star next summer. This would include a transfer fee “in excess of £100m” and a “basic wage” of £500,000 a week, just to cover his basics like toilet roll, chips and helicopters.

City also want to sign Juventus left-back Alex Sandro, but he only costs £26.5m so the bank won’t even notice. However, the Mirror points out that City could save themselves a few million quid if they purchase the Brazilian before he signs a new contract, which would remove his release clause and raise his transfer fee to £40m.

A man who was recently linked with City, David Alaba, is now a target for Manchester United, according to the Sunday People. Jose Mourinho is “weighing up” a move for the Bayern Munich left-back and is also keen on his Austria team-mate Julian Baumgartlinger.

Both Manchester clubs are also keen on Paris Saint-Germain full-back and “bad boy” Serge Aurier, says the Daily Star Sunday. The full-back would cost £20m, although that price tag might drop if he loses his appeal against a two-month jail term for elbowing a police officer.

In yet more Manchester-based news (this is the last one, promise), the Sun on Sunday says Mourinho is set to offer Chris Smalling a lucrative new contract. Sounds like someone is feeling bad about belittling the centre-back’s broken toe.

West Ham are “frontrunners” to sign Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, claims the Sunday Express. A bid of £25m “would be enough” to convince Jurgen Klopp to sell the 27-year-old. The Reds should probably bump up that price a bit given that the Hammers would have to spend a similar amount to make Simone Zaza’s loan deal permanent.

Elsewhere, Everton are tracking Hoffenheim’s German international duo Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy (Mirror), Newcastle and Brighton want to sign Frank Lampard if they get promoted (Express) and Sunderland want to sign Stoke’s Peter Crouch (Sun on Sunday) and reunite him with Jermain Defoe in a classic big man, little man strike partnership that would hopefully provide us with more brilliant photos like this.