Man City in Pole Position to Sign Messi from Barcelona

By Martin Green30 August 2020
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Man City in Pole Position to Sign Messi from Barcelona

The leading bookmakers have made Man City the odds-on favourites to sign Lionel Messi during the current transfer window. The Argentinean forward stunned Barcelona by handing in a transfer request in the aftermath of their 8-2 Champions League defeat to Man City. He believes a clause will allow him to leave for free, whereas the club insist that clause expired in June and they will demand a hefty fee for their greatest ever player. Messi has apparently been in contact with Man City manager Pep Guardiola – the pair worked together when Guardiola managed Barca for four years – and he is pushing for a move to the oil-rich club. 888 Sport and Unibet are offering market leading odds of 9/10 on Messi moving to Man City, which looks attractive when you consider that some bookies will only go to 8/13. If you think he will stay at Barcelona, William Hill has 19/20 on that outcome. Inter Milan are next at 12/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair, while PSG are 14/1 outsiders.

Andrea Pirlo has taken the reigns at Juventus after they endured a tumultuous 2019/20 campaign. The Bianconeri won the title, but their performances were frequently poor and they crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Lyon. Former midfielder will be tasked with rebuilding the team, and he has no place for Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman signed on a free transfer from Arsenal last summer, and the club reportedly agreed to pay him a £400,000 weekly wage. He has been a peripheral figure during his time at Juventus, and Pirlo is keen to move him on, but those wages could prove to be a stumbling block. However, the bookmakers think Man Utd might be prepared to fork out for him, and they are the 11/4 favourites to be his next club after the summer transfer window, with Everton priced at 8/1 and Leicester at 12/1.

Arsenal remain the favourites to sign Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho. He joined Barcelona in a club record €160 million deal in January 2018, but never quite settled into the team. Coutinho spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich, and came off the bench to score twice against his parent club in that 8-2 drubbing. Barca have since sacked manager Quique Setien and named Ronald Koeman as their new boss. He is reportedly keen to give Coutinho a second chance, but he could still leave the club. Paddy Power will only go to 8/11 on Arsenal being his next destination, but you can find 2/1 at 888 Sport if you think the Gunners will snap up the former Liverpool superstar. Arsenal could also bolster their squad with Atletico Madrid holding midfielder Thomas Partey, with Betfair offering just 8/15 on that outcome. They started Mohamed Elneny next to Granit Xhaka in the Community Shield, but Mikel Arteta will be keen for an upgrade.

Man Utd may still manage to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, according to the bookmakers’ odds. The young Englishman was Man Utd’s main transfer target this summer, but the club apparently baulked at the £115 million price tag that Dortmund set. The Bundesliga club set a deadline for Man Utd to sign him, and that has long since elapsed. Yet the Red Devils are seemingly not giving up hope of landing the forward, and Unibet has a market leading 4/5 on him moving to Old Trafford before the end of the transfer window. A cut-price alternative could be David Brooks, whose Bournemouth side were just relegated. He is 5/4 to join Man Utd, and they are now priced at just 1/3 to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.

Liverpool are priced at just 1/5 to sign midfielder Thiago Alcantara. The Spaniard played a starring role in Bayern Munich’s Champions League triumph, but he wants a new challenge and he has informed the club he wants to leave. Bayern will let the 29-year-old midfielder go for €30 million, and Liverpool appears to be his preferred destination. Georginio Wijnaldum could be moved on to make way for him, and the Dutchman is priced at 2/1 to link up with Koeman in a new-look midfield alongside Miralem Pjanic and Frenkie de Jong at the Nou Camp.