Wednesday’s Transfer Rumors: Guardiola, Messi to Man City; Costa to Atletico

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After Manchester City sold 13 percent of the club to Chinese companies with links to the government for $400 million on Tuesday, the Daily Mirror claims that the extra investment will enable them to go out and grab not only a new manager but arguably the greatest player the world has ever seen.

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Pep Guardiola has long been linked with taking charge of City and with the Spanish coach failing to agree on a new deal at Bayern Munich and his current contract running out at the end of this season, he is seen as the perfect long-term replacement for Manuel Pellegrini. With two of City’s key directors — Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Sorriano — formerly at Barcelona during Pep’s period of dominance with the Catalan club, their links remains close.

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That is another reason why City believe they can tempt Lionel Messi away from the Nou Camp. The Argentine superstar, 28, has won every single trophy known to man during his entire career spent at Barcelona and if he fancies a fresh challenge, Man City and Paris Saint-Germain are perhaps the only two teams who could afford him. If Guardiola arrives then the likelihood of Messi joining him at City would skyrocket as the duo have a great working and personal relationship.

In reality, the owner of City Football Group (CFG) — the parent company which runs Man City, New York City FC and others — Sheikh Mansour controls over $30 billion in assets so surely $400 million won’t make that much difference in bringing in new coaches and players, right? Anyway, it has the tabloids talking…

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Another rumor which seems to have popped up at the right time is surrounding Chelsea forward Diego Costa. The Spanish international, 27, was dropped by Jose Mourinho for the Blues’ 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and despite Mourinho claiming he has no problem with the former Atletico Madrid striker, he did say that Costa is “very privileged to have not been dropped sooner” amid all of Chelsea’s struggles this season.

Costa’s moody reaction to being benched — throwing his warm-up bib towards Mourinho and generally looking disgusted — has led many to come to a sensible conclusion that he is not happy. Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo believes there is a release clause in Costa’s Chelsea contract and Atletico are wiling to pay $40 million to get back the striker they sold to Chelsea for $45 million last summer. With just four goals in 17 games this season so far, can Mourinho and Chelsea really afford to turn down this chance (if the clause is legit) to get most of their money back and move on? With Alex Teixiera, Jamie Vardy and Antoine Griezmann linked with a move to Chelsea to freshen up their attack, January could be the perfect time to offload the misfiring ace who has struggled with fitness, lengthy bans and scoring regularly since his initial scoring spree early last season.