So Pep can’t win the Champion’s League without Lionel and Lionel, despite years of trying, just can’t seem to find a manager for his once-beloved Barcelona and has decided it is time to leave.

Where on earth could he go? Wait a minute, there will be a vacancy created at Manchester City just as soon as his old boss realises that he really means it this time. Honest injun, no joking, this time it’s for real! 

City would appear to have options to make this deal happen. They could just pay the release clause of €700 million, which they won’t. They could offer player(s) + cash. They could sit down in a nice restaurant on Las Ramblas and negotiate a deal. They have all these options available to them but, in the end, it will be Barcelona who decide the deal which City will then have to agree to, (or not).

Barcelona need money. They need to get highly paid players off the wage bill hence the reason such previous stalwarts as Gerard Piqué, Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez are being touted around the likes of Juventus and, er….Juventus!

The Italian retirement home, along with the fact that foreign players need only pay 25% tax, must look pretty inviting to them. Add that to the fact that they would be swapping playing with one world superstar for another and what could possibly go wrong?

Ronaldo is looking forward to linking up with Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal at The Geriatricos in Turin!

As we said, Barcelona need money so it would be unlikely that they will accept more than one player + cash from City and, as Messi is virtually irreplaceable, it wouldn’t matter too much who that player is!

Manchester, albeit with eleven years in between, would also be swapping one world superstar with another. Manchester United, arguably, got Ronaldo in his prime although it can also be argued that his best years were with Real Madrid.

City would be getting Messi in the twilight of his career but that doesn’t alter the fact that he can still do enough to remain one of the two best players in the world.

It will be a fascinating one to watch but, and we are fairly sure about this, Lionel Messi will be playing for Manchester City in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile at Manchester United…..

Donny van de Beek, on the other hand, will be playing for Manchester United. That’s assuming that Old Trafford’s trusty negotiator doesn’t throw any last-minute spanners into the works. A fee has (reportedly) been agreed, player terms and wages have (reportedly) been agreed, now all that’s left is for him to cough for the doctor then hold up the shirt for the photographer.

Donny is so pleased he didn’t go to Madrid and end up with Zinedine Zidane now that his dream manager has bought him!

This is all going far too smoothly and is much more like a transfer conducted between Ajax and a club who actually knows what it’s doing! (We do wonder if that may be because Edwin van der Sar is involved).

What happened to the good old days when Ed would miss a deadline and have to pay £4 million more than the requested fee? Or he would buy an overrated and vastly overpriced Argentinian who would use the club as a stepping stone to PSG, costing the club around £19 million. Ed also had a habit of needing TWO transfer windows to get a player, (Ander Herrera and Bruno Fernandes).

Having once boasted that United could buy ANY player, he has since proven that the truth is rather different. Granted the club are not interested in every player the press links them with but there is some truth in some of the reports and United, like it or not, have been turned down by players.

So maybe Ed is learning his lesson. It’s just as likely, though, that he’ll revert to type and end up buying Jadon Sancho in the next transfer window for exactly the same price he could have got him for at the beginning of this one!


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