Manchester City have reportedly spoken to Lionel Messi's father, Jorge Messi, about the possibility of his son joining the club next summer, while Jonny Evans is said to be expecting to sign in a £30 million deal.
Per Dan King at The Sun, City director of football Txiki Begiristain and Messi Sr. have met to discuss a possible move, although the report warns "any deal would be difficult and have to wait until at least next summer."
As Goal's Ben Hayward noted, Messi has still not signed the contract extension Barcelona announced early in July and will be a free agent next summer unless he does:
However, Sky Sports' Guillem Balague said that despite the delay, the deal is all agreed and Messi will put pen to paper:
Neymar's departure means Messi is even more crucial to Barcelona, particularly in light of the club's failure to land their Javier Giraldo of Sport-reported top targets of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
Hayward feels that the Barcelona team is the weakest the Camp Nou has seen for many years:
City boss Pep Guardiola was asked about Messi in light of recent speculation about the Argentinian's future and said he would not be surprised if a club activated his buyout clause, per Sam Lee at Goal:
While there is clearly a delay in Messi signing his new deal, it would still be a surprise if he did not extend his deal, having previously told Tencent Sports he wants to retire at Barcelona (h/t MailOnline's Sam Morshead).
According to Nursey, West Brom have already rejected an £18 million bid. Evans has yet to feature for the club this season because of injury, as noted by Paul Suart at the Birmingham Mail:
Guardiola has already strengthened his defence this summer, bringing in Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo. James Ducker at the Daily Telegraph recently highlighted why he feels Evans would be a good option for City:
A Premier League and FIFA Club World Cup winner with Manchester United, Evans is comfortable on the ball, a must for a Guardiola defender. WhoScored.com highlighted another of his strengths:
Guardiola has clearly identified City's defence as the main area in his squad that needs strengthening, and Evans' arrival would bring experience and provide competition for Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi at centre-back.