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What the Media Says

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MEN: Blues favourites to sign Barkley

There's plenty of City-centric transfer gossip to bring your way today...

So, without further ado, let's wade through it, shall we?

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Blues are favourites to sign Everton’s Ross Barkley, whilst (as reported yesterday) Inaki Williams is also on the radar.

Rob Pollard reports: “There have been a flurry of bets on the midfielder leaving Goodsion Park after this summer’s European Championship, with City said to be firmly in control.

“He has impressed this season, scoring seven goals and assisting eight in 27 appearances.

“City were keen on Barkley back in 2014 but Everton's asking price at the time saw them put off.

“After a difficult campaign in 2014/15, he's been turning heads again with his technical quality and creative capabilities.

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“Meanwhile, the Mail are reporting that the Blues could be set to launch a bid for Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams.

“Head of recruitment Gary Worthington was sent to Atletico's recent Copa Del Rey match with Villarreal to run the rule over the player.

“Williams has scored 10 goals in 22 games this term. Although he is contracted to Atletico until the summer of 2017, he is said to have a £15.2million release clause inserted into his agreement.”

Elsewhere, talkSPORT claim alleged City target Leroy Sane could be purchased in the summer.

An article on the radio station’s website reads: “The Schalke starlet is the Bundesliga's brightest star and is wanted by most of the Champions League's top clubs.

“City were initially told he would cost at least £40m but that figure is inflated and, due to a clause in his contract, he could move for £26m in the summer.

“Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt was asked if the 20-year-old could discreetly agree terms with Barca ahead of a summer move and instantly dismissed the speculation.”

Heldt stated: “Of course not, because the player has a contract until 2019.

"But one can assume that teams are already positioning themselves.

"It will certainly be a topic in the summer and the club will then deal with it."

In other news, the Coventry Telegraph insist the Blues face competition from Premier League rivals for a Sheffield United starlet.

Writes Aidan McCartney: “AFC Bournemouth and Southampton have both joined Manchester City in the race for Sheffield United forward Che Adams.

“The Mirror report that the south-coast rivals are the latest clubs to target the teenager, who can play in an attacking midfield role or as a striker.

“Saints boss Ronald Koeman was reportedly impressed with Adams in the Blades 1-0 Capital One Cup quarter-final win over Saints 14 months ago and he could now make a move for the player valued around the £2m mark.

“The Sun suggested earlier in the month that Man City had been tracking the 19-year-old and were considering a move during the January transfer window while Sunderland are also thought to be keeping a close watch on his progress.

“Adams started his career with the Sky Blues Academy before being released and working his way up from non-league with Ilkeston to become one of the stars for the Blades in League One.”

Finally, back in the Manchester Evening News, it’s reported City’s ‘hopes’ of signing superstar Lionel Messi have been dealt a blow, as the Argentine has pledged his future to Barcelona.

He told Marca: "I'd never play for another European club. Barcelona is my home and I want to retire here. However, it's possible I could end my career in Argentina.

“Anything could happen in the future, but I want to stay here."

That’s all for today. There’ll be more media speculation at the same time tomorrow…

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