MEN: Why City will chase Messi dream
- 11 March 2015 08:02
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
Once again, the morning's headlines are packed with transfer gossip and the like as media outlets seek to fill their pages through lack of match-related content.
The same old names are popping up - but there are also some other tales of perhaps lesser-known alleged targets that have been linked with moves to the Etihad Stadium.
First of all, let's get today's Lionel Messi story out of the way!
In the Manchester Evening News, Stuart Brennan analyses the reasons why City are 'chasing their dream to sign him' but argues it is not only the champions who would benefit by bringing the superstar to the Premier League.
He asks: "Could the City fans, as early as next season, be cheering on a footballer hailed by many as the greatest player to have walked the earth?
"The real question is whether the Premier League can afford NOT to have an elite star.
"Having just signed a £5.1billion broadcasting rights deal that dwarfs every other deal, it is curious that neither of the world’s true elite players plays on these shores.
"La Liga cannot compete with the Premier League when it comes to earning cash globally – and yet the two greatest players on the planet play for their two biggest clubs.
"For the Premier League to complete its domination, and destroy the opposition in growing markets, they need a Messi or a Cristiano Ronaldo.
"The beauty of signing someone like Messi is that the financial spin-offs tend to offset the cost.
"So it was not surprising to discover that sports marketing consultancy Euromericas recently revealed that they had been given commissions by three different clubs, to look at the economics of buying Messi.
"They were coy about revealing the names of those three clubs, but suggested that one of them was owned by a 'government' – likely to be a reference to Paris St Germain, owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
"But it could also be construed to be City, as Sheikh Mansour is deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.
"Whether City are one of Euromericas’ three clients or not, they have certainly looked at the possibility."
Moving on and Goal.com say City are stepping up their interest in Toby Alderweireld.
Paul Clennan scribes: "After struggling for game time under Diego Simeone last season, the Belgium international has impressed while on loan with the Saints this term, forming a key part of the Premier League's most miserly defence.
"City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, feels that Alderweireld would be an excellent signing and there is room for the reigning English champions to make a deal happen.
"Southampton have the option to sign the centre-back permanently for £6 million at the end of his loan but Atleti could cancel that clause by paying a £1.5m fee, which would then allow them to sell to the highest bidder.
"The Spanish side believe that they could extract as much as £14m from City for Alderweireld's signature."
Elsewhere, talkSPORT suggest City will have to act fast if they are to capture the signature of Felipe Anderson.
They believe: "Both Mauricio Pochettino and Manuel Pellegrini have been linked with a move for the Brazil Under-21 international who has been earning rave reviews in Serie A this season.
"But Italian website Calciomercato is reporting that the La Liga champions have been monitoring his progress in recent weeks and could be ready to make an offer for the talented 21-year-old.
"Anderson has a contract with Lazio until 2018 and it is claimed the Italian side would demand at least £20m for his services."
The same source also state Inter Milan are hoping to ward off interest from City - and Arsenal - by offering Mauro Icardi a new deal.
An article reads: "According to Gazzetta dell Sport, Inter have been sparked into life by the fear of losing the Argentina international and have increased their wage offer.
"The Italian club are ready to triple Icardi's wages to over £2m-a-year with the contract running until 2019.
"The former Sampdoria man is reportedly very happy with Inter's new contract offer and the Italian side are hopeful he will sign the new deal by the end of this week."
I guess that's the end of that then!
According to Rob Parker: "City are rumoured to be keen to sign the former Ipswich Town left-back to bolster their dwindling homegrown talent quota in order to meet competition quotas.
"Manuel Pellegrini’s side would probably ship out Gael Clichy or possibly Aleksandar Kolarov this summer in order to free-up space in their squad for Cresswell.
"But West Ham’s hierarchy hope to tie him to them before the transfer window opens.
"Cresswell will reportedly be offered improved terms and a new five-year contract that will run until June 2020. That’s effectively a pay-rise and a one-year extension."
That's all for today. Come back to mcfc.co.uk again tomorrow for another round-up of City-centric media stories. In the meantime, have you seen who has won the Etihad Player of the Month award for February?
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