Manchester City reportedly considered signing Romelu Lukaku in the summer as a potential replacement for Sergio Aguero, but were put off by Inter's asking price. City had concerns over Aguero's fitness, while the veteran striker is also out of contract next summer, and Pep Guardiola considered making an approach for former Manchester United striker, but pulled out after Inter placed a £93.75million price tag on his head.
Meanwhile, City's rivals, Manchester United are reportedly lining up a move for Everton's Marcel Brands to become the club's first Director of Football. The Dutchman has been praised for the way he has handled transfer business at Everton, bringing in James Rodriguez, Allan, and Abdoulaye Doucoure last summer. United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and transfer negotiator Matt Judge have come under heavy criticism this year for failing to land prime targets Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho.
As part of our build-up to the January window, we bring to you the top transfer stories of the day. Additionally, along with the stories, we will hand out ratings to all rumours to validate their authenticity. A rating of 1 means the transfer is least likely to happen and a 10 denotes that the deal will certainly take place.
Man United to rival Arsenal for Eriksen
Manchester United are reportedly considering battling it out with Arsenal for out-of-favour Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen, according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (h/t Football Italia).
Eriksen has fallen out of favour at Inter under Antonio Conte and could se set to leave the club during the January transfer window. Inter were exploring a swap deal with Arsenal for the player involving Granit Xhaka, but it now appears that United might be prepared to offer Fred in exchange for the former Tottenham player.
Rumour Rating: 6/10
Barkley set for permanent Chelsea exit
Barkley is currently on loan at Aston Villa and has two goals to his name this season. His partnership with Jack Grealish is thriving, and reports claim Barkley could be the subject of a January bid from Villa.
Rumour Rating: 5.5/10
Arsenal eye move for Isco
The former Valencia player is on the fringes with Zinedine Zidane who has said that the player can seek a move away from the club. Isco has strongly been linked to a reunion with Carlo Ancelotti and James Rodriguez at Everton, but reports claims Mikel Arteta is keen to bring his compatriot to the Emirates.
Rumour Rating: 5/10
Kounde confirms Man City talks
Sevilla center back Jules Kounde has revealed that he has previously held transfer talks with Manchester City.
He confirmed to Canal Football Club that Pep Guardiola's side sounded him out over a potential move in the summer. "Yes, I spoke with Pep Guardiola. He had him on the telephone,” he said. “We spoke in Spanish. Everything went well. I was interested in going there and I had guarantees that I would play. But it didn’t happen.”
However, the 22-year-old continues to be linked with a number of top clubs in Europe, including City.
Rumour Rating: 6/10
Man City to end Messi interest?
Messi was linked with a move to City all throughout the summer transfer window after deciding to stay put at Camp Nou. However, with his contract expiring at the end of the current season, the Argentine continues to be linked with a move away from LaLiga. However, the Premier League club are no longer keen to sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, says Hunter, with his age and €100m-a-year wages (£89m) thought to be a deal breaker for City.
Rumour Rating: 7/10