Manchester City considering world record bid for Barcelona striker Lionel Messi

Officials at Manchester City are considering making a bid for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in what would be a world record deal.

City officials have already met with Messi’s representatives to sound them out over the possibility of the Argentine moving to the Etihad, according to the Daily Record.

Any bid for Messi would have to break the world transfer record, set just a couple of weeks ago when Neymar left Barca for Paris St-Germain for £198 million. Messi is said to have a release clause in his contract of £275 million.

However, just a few weeks ago Barca officials had said that a new deal had been agreed with Messi that would see him earn €1 million per week. But Messi has yet to sign that deal, hence why City have sniffed an opportunity.

But Barca will be loathe to let their biggest star leave – especially after Neymar’s departure – and will no doubt redouble their efforts to get their most bankable asset to sign on the dotted line.

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s efforts to sign a replacement for Messi continue to be frustrated, with Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund still refusing to sell Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele respectively.

Chelsea planning £200 million spending spree on Premier League stars

Premier League champions Chelsea are planning to spend up to £200 million before the transfer window closes on several players from rival clubs.

Targets include Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater, Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Southampton defenders Virgil van Dijk, Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares.

The Blues are also keeping tabs on Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld. He is currently in negotiations over a new contract but if they break down Chelsea could come in with an offer.

Chelsea have had an initial £20 million bid for Drinkwater rejected by Leicester, who are holding out for £30 million. However, Chelsea officials are hoping to reach a compromise.

Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the final year of his contract at Arsenal and the Gunners could be tempted to cash in if Chelsea bid around £25 million.

Finally, Southampton have said all three defenders are not for sale but that doesn’t mean that a deal is out of the question.

Van Dijk has been agitating for a move all summer, and a £60 million move to Liverpool had been mooted – and thought preferred by the player. But a bid from Chelsea could change his mind.

Bertrand started out at Chelsea and could be tempted by a move back to his old stomping ground.

Finally, Soares has been attracting interest from Spurs as well. However, it would take a sizeable offer to make Saints reconsider their position.

Dele Alli ‘not for sale’ says Spurs chief after interest from Barcelona and Manchester City

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is not for sale, even if a club were to bid £150 million for him, according to Spurs’ chairman, Daniel Levy.

Levy’s statement comes after rumoured interest in the player from Barcelona and Manchester City – two clubs with very deep pockets.

However, 21-year-old Alli is not for sale at any price and Levy puts the England international in the same bracket as Neymar, who recently joined Paris St-Germain for £198 million.

Levy’s statement is also designed to put Spurs fans’ minds at rest. So far they have not signed any players this summer and have seen right-back Kyle Walker sold for £50 million and are fearful more stars could leave before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Chelsea in bid to beat Manchester United to sign Ivan Perisic

Chelsea have entered the race to sign Inter Milan midfielder Ivan Perisic – a long time target of Manchester United.

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea were surprisingly beaten at home by Burnley at the weekend and this highlighted how new blood was needed.

Manchester United have been targeting Perisic, valued at £48 million by Inter, all summer but have failed to conclude a deal, although negotiations are ongoing. Now Chelsea are seeking to whip Perisic from under their rivals’ nose.

However, Inter have repeatedly said they do not want to sell the midfielder.

Chelsea are also understood to be preparing bids for Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Juventus full-back Alex Sandro in the next couple of weeks.

Barcelona target Ousmane Dembele suspended indefinitely by Borussia Dortmund

Ousmane Dembele has been suspended indefinitely by his club, Borussia Dortmund after missing training.

France international Dembele, 20, was fined and suspended after missing training on Thursday, but that suspension has now been extended “until further notice”.

This suspension comes just days after Dortmund rejected an advance for Dembele from Barcelona.

Dortmund officials said Barcelona’s valuation of the player did not meet theirs. It is thought the German club are holding out for £135 million – which Barca have after selling Neymar to Paris St-Germain for £198 million.

A deal with the Spanish side is unlikely, according to Dortmund officials, but this move would surely put Dembele’s future in doubt.

It is unlikely we have seen the end of this saga – deals tend to be publicly denied until it has been pretty much concluded, as the Neymar deal showed.