Personally, I’m not sure I can remember a time this tale did not feature – at least once weekly – in the Blue headlines.
Of course, the transfer window is now closed until January… but in the midst of the international break, stories of potential moves are required to fill pages – and ‘that old chestnut’ has reared its head…
ESPN claim City are ‘on alert’, with Messi’s future apparently ‘up in the air’.
Matthew Stanger writes: “Lionel Messi is considering his future at Barcelona after a turbulent transfer window saw the club lose Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and struggle to bring in a number of key targets.
“Ernesto Valverde's side have won their first two matches in La Liga, but that has failed to paper over the cracks as the Catalan giants risk falling further behind Real Madrid this season.
“The club held a news conference on Saturday to explain their transfer dealings, but Messi is apparently less than impressed by recent developments.
“The Mail reports that at one stage during the briefing, director Albert Soler began detailing Messi's exit until club secretary Robert Fernandez reminded him: "You mean Neymar."
“That Freudian slip has set tongues wagging in Spain, with serious fears that Messi could leave when his contract expires next summer.
“According to the Sun, Manchester City lead the queue for the Argentine and a reunion with former boss might appeal.”
Elsewhere, Football Transfer Tavern’s Lee Connor.
An article reads: “Manchester City have gotten off to a decent start this season under Pep Guardiola, and have shown enough to suggest they could well be in contention to win the title come the end of May.
“The Blue half of Manchester have once again spent big this summer as they look to wrestle back their Premier League crown, and the fans here in the Tavern are hoping their new signings can lead them to glory this term.
“However, one player who was already in the squad is already making a big impact this term with his performances, and our landlord thinks he could well go on to become the top scorer in the Premier League this term. That player? Pacey Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus.
“The hard-working forward is the epitome of what Guardiola wants in his teams and has delivered a string of excellent performances so far this season.
“He got off the mark with a well taken goal against Bournemouth last time out and now that he is off and running, he could well be on his way to bagging plenty more.
“Jesus possesses all the tools needed to succeed as a top Premier League striker. His pace, willingness to run, and his finishing ability mark him out as an outstanding forward in any team.
“He could well be the man this season to fire City to glory, while snaffling some individual honours for himself along the way.”
Meanwhile, broadcaster and former footballer Alan Brazil has heaped praise on Patrick Roberts.
The 20-year-old winger re-joined Celtic on loan, having enjoyed a successful 18-month spell at Parkhead and Brazil – quoted in a Here In The City piece – declared he was impressed with the Hoops’ ambition to sign him on a permanent deal, adding he is “a huge fan” of the winger.
In other news, it’s claimed Leicester are weighing up a move for former City defender and free agent Bacary Sagna.