The transfer window may have closed nine days ago and will remain shut for several months, but that doesn’t stop the speculation and rumour, especially where City are concerned.
One story that appears in several papers and media outlets this morning and seems to be gaining some momentum is that the Blues are interested in Juventus talisman Paulo Dybala.
The Argentine is one of the most coveted forwards in Europe and would have plenty of suitors should he decide to leave Turin, but his alleged desire to work under Pep Guardiola has obviously fanned the flames in regard to City.
Team Talk and The Mirror are just two examples and will begin with the former who write: “Manchester City have joined the race to sign a reported Manchester United target in the summer, speculation in Spain suggests.
“Don Balon claim that the Premier League leaders are ‘planning a move’ for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.
“They state that the Blues have already reached out to the Serie A giants over a potential summer move for the Argentine.
“Dybala also apparently has ‘great wishes’ to work under Pep Guardiola, and that he views a switch to the Etihad Stadium as his best bet of winning a Champions League.
“Guardiola is an admirer of Dybala too, and apparently sees shades of Lionel Messi in the 24-year-old.
“Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta did tell Sky Italia last month that Juventus do not need to sell star players unless the request to leave.
‘He is a very strong player, on who rely a lot,’ Marotta said.”
The Mirror add: “City have made contact with Juventus over the possibility of signing Paulo Dybala.
“That is according to reports in Spain, who say the Premier League champions elect have been in touch with the Italian giants over a potential summer transfer.
“But the Bianconeri are reluctant to offload their star man and would only consider letting him go if he expressed a desire to leave.
“Dybala, 24, is reportedly keen on working under Pep Guardiola and feels a move to the Etihad would boost his chances of winning the Champions League.”
Elsewhere and could Leicester City playmaker Riyad Mahrez be in line for surprise return against the Blues this Saturday?
Sky Sports believe so as they write: “Riyad Mahrez will return to training on Friday and has made himself available for Leicester’s game at Manchester City on Saturday, Sky sources understand.
“The Algeria international has not trained with the club since his proposed transfer to City failed to materialise during the January transfer window.
“Leicester manager Claude Puel said in his pre-match news conference on Thursday that Mahrez would miss the Sky Live game at the Etihad, although the situation since appears to have moved on.”
Finally, The Telegraph’s James Ducker has unearthed a nugget that has mostly been overlooked.
It seems that City’s major January move will indirectly help save the fortunes of a little-know French side, Ducker’s story suggests…
“Aymeric Laporte’s £57.1 million move to Manchester City helped to save a little known French club from ruin.
“Sporting Union of Agen, who play in the eighth tier of French football and were Laporte’s first club, were on the brink of going into administration.
“But the club were rescued after receiving one per cent of the club record fee City paid Athletic Bilbao to trigger the French centre-half’s release clause last month as compensation for their development of the player.
“It resulted in Agen netting a cash windfall of around £570,000 – almost quadruple their annual budget – that enabled the club to pay their creditors and avoid impending bankruptcy.
“Agen were entitled to demand 0.25 per cent of the transfer fee as training rights compensation for each season in which Laporte played in their junior ranks between 12 and 16, totalling one per cent over four years. Laporte, now 23, had joined Agen as a six-year-old in 2000 before joining Bilbao in 2010 after a season with Aviron Bayonnais.”
And that’s all for today – stay with us throughout the day as we build up to tomorrow’s home game with the Foxes.