What the papers say
Manchester City made a 10-year plan to get the most out of Lionel Messi, the Mail reports. The club came up with the strategy to secure the Argentinian but saw it undone when the forward failed to get a release from Barcelona in the summer. The plan includes Messi potentially also playing for another City Football Group side – possibly New York City FC in the MLS – and Pep Guardiola is determined to get the 33-year-old next year, after the pair experienced success together at the Nou Camp previously.
Staying at the Etihad where Guardiola is determined to include Jack Grealish in his rebuild. The Independent says the City boss has spoken with Kevin De Bruyne who praised Grealish following the 25-year-old’s role in England’s recent 2-0 win over Belgium. The midfielder has just signed a new five-year contract with Aston Villa but there is a feeling of inevitability that he will leave for a larger club and City are his fancied destination.
Southampton will attempt to sign Brandon Williams in January, according to The Sun. Saints tried to pick him up during the summer break due to the defender’s versatility but were blocked by Manchester United. Old Trafford bosses are now considering letting the 20-year-old head south, though only on a loan deal.
The Liverpool Echo says the chances of Georginio Wijnaldum leaving Anfield are growing every day. While the Holland international continues to impress on the pitch, the fact he has just turned 30 could play against him and the Reds are looking to youth with Curtis Jones already establishing himself in the Liverpool midfield and fancied to replace Wijnaldum permanently from January.
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Players to watch
Christian Eriksen: Italy’s Tuttermercato reports Borussia Dortmund will attempt to sign Denmark’s former Tottenham midfielder, 28, from Inter Milan.
Conor Masterson: The Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender could be sent out on loan by QPR in January, according to West London Sport.