Manchester City are convinced they can tempt Lionel Messi to England – should he choose to quit Barcelona this summer. The Mirror says City believe they are in pole position to sign Lionel Messi if the Argentine quits Barcelona in the aftermath of the club’s Champions League humiliation.
Messi’s future was cast in doubt earlier this season after a heated public argument with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal.
According to The Daily Mirror, City are ready to do “whatever it takes” to bring Messi to the Etihad and reunite him with Pep Guardiola.
Messi had a clause in his Barcelona contract that would have allowed him to leave on a free transfer at the end of the summer. However, the clause expired at the end of May and Messi’s current buyout clause stands at an astonishing £635m
Brazilian legend Rivaldo suggested last month that there could be a temptation for Messi to reunite with Guardiola at City.
“If he is considering leaving the club, then something mustn’t be good in the Barcelona dressing room and perhaps he is tired with all the constant problems that have surrounded the club in the last few months,” the former Barcelona star said.
City’s stance on the 32-year-old remains steadfast that they will be at the front of the queue if the six-time Ballon d’Or winner decides to seek a new challenge.
La Liga giant Barcelona are in crisis after a season in which they surrendered the La Liga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid and were also ignominiously eliminated from the Champions League with the scoreline at 8-2 by Bayern Munich.
Messi left the pitch in Lisbon looking dejected after a year spent battling Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Nou Camp hierarchy on the direction the club is going.
Messi, whose current deal expires in 2021, revealed in 2018 that he would welcome the idea of working with Guardiola in the future.
But City are now waiting for any green light from Messi as an indication that he will consider leaving his beloved Barcelona after 16 years.