How true the story is we may never know, but the report that Lionel Messi allegedly wanted to join City last season in not an unpleasant one!
Only the player himself would be able to confirm or deny it, but when one of the most talented footballers of all time is linked to your club, who would complain?
The suggestion, put forward by the Daily Express (among many others) in this instance, says Messi had to be talked out of the move by team-mate Luis Suarez.
“Munro Deportivo say Messi dined a few times with his team-mate Suarez and the Uruguayan persuaded him to stay at the Nou Camp.
“Suarez was supposedly very persuasive and the pair spoke at great length before Messi made his decision.
“Pep Guardiola is keen to reunite with Messi at the Etihad, who he worked with at Barcelona, although any deal would be riddled with complications.
“And according to Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo, Messi came quite close to joining City last summer.
“City Chief Ferran Soriano recently conceded defeat in trying to strike a deal for the Barca superstar, as he said: ‘I know Messi very well. He and his family are my good friends.
‘At least next year, maybe he can finish that career. After that he can go to China or US, but now I think he will stay in Barcelona.’
Moving on to the present and Dani Alves continues to take up plenty of column inches this morning.
With Juventus reportedly admitting talks were underway to allow the Brazilian to leave Turin, the press believe his next destination will be the Etihad – though Chelsea are also believed to be keen.
The Independent write: “Juventus have agreed Dani Alves can leave the club this summer and talks are under way to secure an early release from his contract.
“The Brazilian right-back, formerly of Barcelona, has been widely linked with a possible switch to Manchester City.
“And Alves will be clear to make his next career move providing an arrangement can be struck for his exit from Juventus, the Italian champions confirmed.
“Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta said on Wednesday, according to Tuttosport: ‘We're not talking about a breakdown in the relationship, it's motivation that is fundamental for players.
‘Alves has realised he has a desire to try a new experience, so we're trying to reach a mutual termination of his contract and we wish him good luck.’
The Sport Review, however, take the Chelsea angle in their story: “Chelsea are hoping to tempt Dani Alves to Stamford Bridge despite Manchester City being in pole position to sign the Brazilian, according to reports in the British media.
“The Daily Mirror is reporting that the Premier League champions are interested in signing Alves this summer to bolster their options ahead of a return to the Champions League next term.
“Indeed, Antonio Conte is thought to be a keen admirer of the South American’s qualities and is a fan of the veteran defender’s ability to play at left-back or right-back.”
Moving away from transfer speculation and Brighton & Hove Albion’s official website have started the countdown to the new season with a feature on the last time City visited the Seagulls nine years ago.
“Albion were drawn against the Premier League giants in the second round of the Carling Cup in 2008, and it proved a memorable night for the Seagulls, who were then plying their trade in the third tier of English football,” the feature states.
“Under the guidance of Micky Adams, who returned for a second spell in charge at the club, Albion welcomed City boss Mark Hughes and his star-studded team to Withdean for a midweek cup clash under the floodlights.
“The likes of Vincent Kompany, Daniel Sturridge and Pablo Zabaleta lined up for the Blues, with a Hart on the bench for either side - England goalkeeper Joe for the visitors and striker Gary for the Seagulls.
“Weeks before the game, City spent £32.5m on Real Madrid striker Robinho, having been taken over by Arab investment company Abu Dhabi United Group. On the flip side, the Seagulls had recruited Preston North End striker Joe Anyinsah on loan.”
There’s more and it’s worth a read if you are counting down the days to the new season.
In the style of News at Ten, our ‘And finally…’ story shows that Yaya Toure’s Mancunian phrases video is going down a storm in Africa – in this instance, Kenya.
The Star (not the UK Daily Star) takes up the story…
“Although he has been in Manchester City for seven years, Yaya Toure does not quite know the city's language.
“The Ivory Coast international star was tasked at decoding some of the city's most famous slang words in a hilarious video.
“In a post on the club's official YouTube channel, Toure reads out the words then puts them in context in a sentence.
“But it is hilarious how each new Manc words he comes across perplexes the 34-year-old.
“He wears a confused expression as he reads 'buzzin': ‘I'm proper buzzin' for next season mate.’
“When asked what he thought the word 'chuddy' meant he replied: "To be honest, I don't know."
“The midfielder seemed to have a headache when asked to read the word 'kecks' and tried to work out what it meant.
“Other words that also blew Toure's mind were 'mint' and the phrase 'our kid.'”
A nice way to round off this morning’s paper talk and another excuse to watch Yaya’s video…