Manchester City are willing to break the bank in a bid to sign the best player in the world, Lionel Messi from La Liga giants Barcelona. Reportedly, the English big spenders are putting together a staggering sum in excess of £200m to land the Argentine superstar next summer.
As reported earlier, Messi is unsettled at the Catalonian club and has rejected a contract extension. His current deal at Nou Camp runs out in 2018 and City are ready to take advantage of the situation.
According to reports in the Daily Mirror, Manchester City’s owners are drawing up a plan so as to secure Messi’s signing in the summer. They are prepared to offer the five-time Ballon d’Or winner a basic wage of a whopping £500,000-a-week while the transfer fee would itself be in excess of £100m.
What puts City in the pole position is the fact that Pep Guardiola, who shares a healthy relationship with Messi from his days as the Barcelona manager, has been appointed as the new Blues boss just before the start of this season. Guardiola’s rapport with the attacking midfielder will be crucial if any deal actually transpires.
Following Messi’s rejection to sign a new contract, rumours are flying that the 29-year-old is all set to leave the La Liga champions. Although the Barcelona hierarchy is keen on keeping the player, the fact that he has only one more year left on his current deal does not help the cause.
Messi has a £215m release clause on his contract, but if Barcelona fail to negotiate a contract extension, they would be forced to sell off the crafty forward rather than risk losing him on a free transfer 12 months later.
City’s financial prowess is unmatched in world football, and any transfer fee involving Messi should easily break the £89m world-record fee that Manchester United dished out for Paul Pogba a few months back.
United, Chelsea, and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the Argentine whereas the cash-rich clubs of the Chinese League could offer an even bigger package. However, Guardiola’s presence slightly tilts the balance in City’s favour.
Guardiola has unlimited funds to rebuild his squad such that City dominate both in England and in Europe. And Messi would be a dream signing.
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