With an unusually lengthy gap between games for Man City, transfer talk dominates the pages of this morning’s media outlets.

As usual, the same names keep cropping up with every newspaper claiming to have ‘the latest’ on the rumours.

Two players that have been mentioned over the past few days are Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Today, the Daily Express insist they have an update, as Richard Tanner reports: “Manchester City are considering a loan deal for Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber - but have dismissed reports they are interested in Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

“German international Badstuber, 27, is a short-term option to the end of the season if injury-plagued Vincent Kompany - who is nearing a first-team return - suffers yet another break down before the transfer window closes.

“But even though Ilkay Gundogan is out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury and Fernandinho is suspended for three more games, £42million-rated Rakitic is not on Pep Guardiola’s radar.”

According to the Daily Mail, Rakitic is negotiating a new deal with Barca, though others suggest the move is still a possibility.

Elsewhere, the Daily Star argue City have contacted Arsenal to enquire about the availability of Jack Wilshere.

Writes Rhys Turrell: “Wilshere has 18 months left on his contract, but is currently out on loan at Bournemouth.

“Arsene Wenger has suggested the England international will be offered an extension soon.

“But no deal has yet been signed and Wilshere’s future is up in the air.

“The report claims they’ve [City] contacted Arsenal and asked to be informed of any developments over his future.

“It’s suggested they want to be told if the Gunners decide to sell - in order to potentially get a bid on the table.”

Meanwhile, Danielle Joynson of Sports Mole believes City are set to enter a three-way battle for Tiemoue Bakayoko.

She states: “The 22-year-old has previously been linked to City’s neighbours Manchester United, as well as Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, following a string of impressive performances for the Ligue 1 side.

“According to the Daily Record, due to the number of big-name clubs keeping an eye on the midfielder, Monaco are believed to be considering letting him go this month.

“The report adds that the club have slapped a €25m (£21.6m) price tag on Bakayoko, who joined Monaco from Rennes in 2014.”

Finally, away from the transfer gossip, Simon Curtis – writing for ESPN – has penned a reflective piece, following City’s 5-0 FA Cup thrashing of West Ham.

He scribes: “City’s most recent performance, inspired by the old hands of David Silva, Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, comes as the fifth win in a run of six games.

“In fact, going back to an Oct. 19 defeat at the Nou Camp in the Champions League, City have lost three league games (a close one at Liverpool, an unlucky one vs. Chelsea and a complete flop at Leicester’s King Power Stadium) and given way to Manchester United in a League Cup tie, where they played a glut of youth-teamers against a full strength United side.

“Maybe things aren’t quite as horrendous as some people have been suggesting.

“Even in the 4-0 defeat at Barcelona, City gave a good account of themselves, playing better than they had in the various previous engagements with the Catalan giants.

“In upending Luis Enrique’s men 3-1 in the return at the Etihad, another milestone was passed. City were beginning to mix it properly with the continental megaliths.

“That night, City took the game to the Catalans and could, in a second half of considerable verve and power, have increased the margin of victory past the two-goal difference for which they eventually settled.

“For Guardiola, keeping in touch with a runaway Chelsea side now having to regroup after finally losing a league game has been vital. The world will now see how the Premier League’s surprise leaders deal with their impressive run of consecutive wins coming to an end.

“Getting used to the new manager’s pass-and-pass-some-more mantra has also taken time; in a league where attacking quickly and pushing the ball forward is the only visible state of intent, both players and crowd have been occasionally unmoved by the constant ball rotation without palpable forward progress.

“City, however, are doing it Guardiola’s way. Whether Steaua Bucharest and West Ham have been the two most supine opponents or not so far this season, both have been put to the sword on their own ground by a City side passing them to death.

“This is what, in all its beauty, simplicity and effortless effectiveness, the Catalan has brought to the table.”

That’s all for now. What do you make of today’s rumours? Tweet your views @ManCity.