Messi to Manchester City might be on. The Premier League leaders are reportedly preparing a €400m bid to lure Lionel Messi away from La Liga.
According to Spanish sports newspaper AS, the Premier League club are hoping to capitalise on the uncertainty over Messi’s future in Spain.
New terms were reportedly been agreed between Messi and Barcelona in July. However, the Argentine has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.
As things stand, Messi will be out of contract at the end of the current season and free to discuss terms with other clubs from January.
Reports earlier this year suggesting that Messi is prepared to ditch the club that he has served throughout his professional career.
According to The Mirror, the leading goalscorer is unhappy with the state of the Barcelona squad following Neymar’s world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain and the club’s failure to find a suitable replacement.
The British paper claims that Messi’s representatives met with City in August to discuss a potential switch.
Messi to Manchester City: a likely switch?
Messi has remained loyal to Barcelona in the past. It’s tough to picture him playing in anything other than Barceona’s blue and garnet.
However, moving to City would allow Messi to link up with his former boss Pep Guardiola. The talented manager guided him during his most prolific years at the La Liga club.
Guardiola would undoubtedly offer the Premier League side a huge advantage if Messi did decide that his future was better spent elsewhere.
Likewise, City are one of few clubs that have the financial firepower to pull off such a huge deal.
According to reports, it would require a deal worth £358m to capture a player that is widely regarded as the best in the world. That would smash the £198m record set by PSG’s capture of Neymar earlier this year.
It would be a huge outlay for Manchester City. Especially considering the Barcelona forward has hit the dreaded age of 30, when most players begin to decline.
And yet, such a loss would be a major one for Barcelona, regardless of the fee that they would receive.
Messi has served as their talisman since 2004. He has scored 521 goals for the club in just 594 games. He has also provided 232 assists.
Likewise, he has defied his age this season, netting 11 goals in his first seven games.
However, those in charge at Nou Camp aren’t worried about losing their star man.
Speaking to the press last month, club president Josep Bartomeu insisted:
“Everything is signed. There is no need to worry.”