Weeks after the transfer deadline was obliterated by Neymar’s £198m move to PSG, it could be set to be broken once more as Manchester City are linked with Lionel Messi.
Reports in France suggest that Manchester City are prepared to meet Messi’s £275m release clause to take the Argentine to the Etihad stadium in what would be one of the most sensational transfers of all time.
Messi has just one year to run on his contract at the Nou Camp and despite Barcelona announcing six weeks ago that he had agreed a new deal to stay at the club, and earn £1million-a-week in the process, that deal is yet to be finalised.
However, Barcelona are in a serious decline from the dizzy heights they reached between 2009 and 2015, when they won six league titles in seven seasons and theee Champions League titles. Since then, they have struggled in the Champions League while having to watch their great rivals Real Madrid dominate the tournament. Messi has also watched his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo dominate the Balon d’Or award, with the Portuguese winning three out of the last four titles, with Messi claiming just one.
With the 30-year-old delaying announcing a new deal with Barcelona, Manchester City are claimed to have opened talks with the forward in an attempt to lure him to the Premier League.
The Daily Record claim that despite City and their filthy rich owners being willing to bank role a world record move, it is unlikely to happen in this transfer window. Messi is known to like to take his time over such decisions, and with just 10 days remaining of the summer window, a deal will be hard to strike.
They claim that negotiations could involve talks for a free transfer next summer, where the Argentine can demand even more money in his salary.
Barcelona are keen to tie Messi down to a new deal swiftly as they don’t want the embarrassment of losing another top star so soon after claiming that Neymar was 200% not leaving the club, just days before the Brazilian indeed left.