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Media Watch: Guardiola eyeing £50m January swoop?

JANUARY BLUES?: Who has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium?

JANUARY BLUES?: Who has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium?

The rumour mill is in overdrive this morning with the City-centric headlines packed with transfer gossip.

We’re four days into January and with the transfer window open, tales of potential arrivals and departures are swirling around.

The Sun claim the Blues will be busy this month, with Pep Guardiola allegedly plotting a £50million spend on reinforcements.

According to Martin Blackburn: “The Manchester City boss is keen on Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez after the injury to striker Gabriel Jesus at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“And he has hinted that he needs cover for his injury-prone skipper Vincent Kompany.

“Guardiola will meet chief exec Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain this week to agree their plans for the window.

“City would rather have waited until the summer for Sanchez when he can go on a free.

“Now the Gunners will want at least £25m for their superstar.

“Inigo Martinez, who has a £28m release clause at Real Sociedad, is on City’s radar to fill in for centre-back Kompany, along with Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti.

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“But reports in France suggest French international defender Umtiti has a £53m get-out clause.

“The board has a transfer plan in place for the next 18 months but injuries and a congested fixture list could force a rethink.”

ESPN also believe a deal for Umtiti could be on the cards, suggesting the Barcelona man is ‘mulling over’ a move.

An article reads: “With Philippe Coutinho heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, the Blaugrana may experience the other end of a deal this month, as Manchester City look to lure Samuel Umtiti to the Etihad, according to L'Equipe.

“The France international has met with Blues officials, the report states, with the 24-year-old reportedly asking for time to consider a potential switch.

“City boss Pep Guardiola watched on as Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool for £75 million, but Umtiti, who has thrived at one of the world's biggest clubs this season, is available at his buyout clause for just €60 million.

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“A hamstring injury before Christmas has kept out the former Lyon star recently, but Barca will be eager to initiate contract negotiations to increase his buyout clause and maintain his services during his prime years.”

Elsewhere, the Daily Star argue City are to lock horns with Manchester United for the signature of Jonny Evans.

Writes Owen Fulda: “The Northern Ireland international made almost 200 appearances for Man Utd before being sold to the Baggies in 2015.

“But West Brom want Jonny Evans to commit his future to the club — or are ready to sell him this month.

“Jose Mourinho's side have emerged as serious competition to Manchester City in the race for their former defender.

“And according to the Mirror, they are prepared to make a £20m move to take him back to Old Trafford.

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“Evans, who turned 30 on Wednesday, has just 18 months left on his current deal.

“Relegation-threatened Albion are desperate to keep him and have offered their captain £100,000-a-week to sign a new contract.

“Boss Alan Pardew has previously admitted that Evans could leave in this transfer window if offers are made.

“City tried to sign Evans last summer but West Brom wanted more than £30m.

“Arsenal were also keen in August, made an 11th-hour bid and are still watching developments.

“But Evans would prefer a move back to the north.”

What do you make of today’s transfer tales? Share your thoughts on Twitter @ManCity

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