Football transfer rumours: Rodri and Bale heading for Manchester?

Today’s fluff has got life-affirming moments in its past it can’t repeat

Pep Guardiola wants a throbbing brain on the pitch with toes of steel to replace Fernandinho, whose creaking limbs are undergoing a late-career slow rust. In an ideal world, Pep would Marty McFly his way back to the January transfer window and pip Barcelona to the signature of deep-lying Ajax passmaster Frenkie de Jong, but the ability to travel through time is something he’s not yet been able to master, even if he thinks really hard and flaps his arms around like an angry cormorant.

So, he’ll instruct Manchester City beancounters to shovel £60.6m into Atlético Madrid’s bank account in exchange for their 22-year-old join-the-dots man Rodri. City scouts have been watching the midfielder closely all season and believe he is worth breaking the club’s transfer record for because he could probably beat Pep at chess and think his way out of any problem, even a sudoku puzzle with an 18,000 difficulty rating.

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