Transfer rumours: Lionel Messi to be reunited with Pep Guardiola at Man City | Thiago Alcantara on his way to Liverpool | Chelsea closing in on £80m left-back

Manchester City are the front-runners to sign Lionel Messi.

By Peter Storey
Monday, 17th August 2020, 10:07 am

Spain’s Esporte Interativo reports Messi has demanded an immediate exit from Barcelona after Friday’s 8-2 Champions League embarrassment against Bayern Munich, which he felt was the result of a long-term lack of planning at the Catalan club.

City – one of only a small list of clubs that could cope with Messi’s wage demands – are first in line to sign the 33-year-old, a move which would reunite him with one of Barca’s most successful managers, Pep Guardiola.

Meanwhile, Chelsea want City’s out-of-favour defender John Stones even if they are also successful in their pursuit of Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk, the Daily Mirror reports.

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Lionel Messi during Barcelona's humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich

Chelsea are also closing in on Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, according to The Independent. The Foxes want £80m.

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has agreed a four-year deal with Liverpool, France’s RMC Sport reports.

Arsenal have agreed terms for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the club and are close to signing Brazil defender Gabriel Magalhaes, says The Daily Telegraph.