Though it was all-but-unavoidable in hindsight Manchester City must be ruing their decision to officially announce their capture of Pep Guardiola. With half of the season still to play it has resulted in a woeful run of form for the Blues from a team, fanbase and club stuck in a holding pattern as they await the summer arrival of undoubtedly the best coach in world football. They may as well enjoy some mobile casino fun as they’re twiddling their thumbs.

It has seen the two-times Premier League champions pull up lame in the title chase and such has been their inability to rouse any form of ingenuity or adventure in the attacking third they now face the real danger of sliding out of the top four altogether.

It is a much more trivial point in comparison but the confirmation of Pep to Manchester brought with it another negative consequence. Prior to the news breaking the speculation on will-he-won’t-he was endless. Once that was quashed it was swiftly replaced by another form of hysteria namely that of gossip-mongerers, supposed ‘in-the-knows’, and genuine journalists looking for easy clickbait gleefully linking every top shelf player in Europe and beyond to Pep’s revolution-in-waiting.

Once the floodgates opened there was simply no stopping it.

Each and every day we are relentlessly informed that Player X has accidentally let it slip that he would love to play under the bearded one. Or that Player Y is sure to depart the club. Or that Player Z is on his way which can exclusively be revealed because the writer was privy to Guardiola’s post-shower motivation speech to his bathroom mirror.

Pogba tops the wishlist for most Blues.

Pogba tops the wishlist for most Blues.

Of course not all of it is guff and nonsense. The more astute out there can easily determine which nuggets of information has been purposely leaked by the club partly with the intention to detract from what is presently happening on the pitch. The Blues’ instrumental but injury-prone skipper Vincent Kompany is staying by all accounts. His Belgian compatriot Jason Denayer is expected to return from a loan spell at Galatasaray and be given a chance to impress the new gaffer as City look to blend superstar signings with home-grown talent. As for signings you could do a lot worse than read through The Guardian’s take on matters which essentially can be viewed as being straight from the club’s mouth.

Elsewhere however we are swimming in fictional waters as anyone with a keyboard puts two and two together, comes up with five and then presents it as fact. Does anyone seriously envisage Manuel Neuer being lured from Bayern? Will Isco continue to be linked to the blue half of Manchester even when he’s retired and babysitting his grandchildren? Is it not a little far-fetched to expect Everton to relinquish Ross Barkley along with Stones this summer no matter how much money is involved?

Whether the source is impeccable or born from a bedroom-scribes imagination one pertinent query does arise from the never-ending ‘news’. Where are the full-backs that City require so desperately? Where is the forward to take the strain off Aguero’s hamstrings?

That’s the problem with transfer gossip: it creates too many cooks and discards the ingredients and if you believed all that you’ve been presented with over the past six weeks you’d be tempted to think Pep Guardiola is planning an innovative 2-7-1 formation next year while spending the equivalent of a small nation’s GDP to acquire it.