Lionel Messi has made it clear that he wants to leave Barcelona and join Manchester City.
The Argentine superstar has grown tired of the Spanish club’s failings in the Champions League and is eager to work under Pep Guardiola once again.
However, signing Messi will not be easy, with the 33-year-old still having one-year left on his current contract at Barcelona with a release clause of €700m.
City’s hope is that Messi’s camp can negotiate a deal which would see him leave the Camp Nou on a free transfer.
Were this to happen, a move to City would be firmly on the cards and the English giants have already agreed financial terms with the Argentine.
The offer would see Messi spend three years in the Premier League with City and the remaining two years with New York City FC – who are also owned by City Football Group (CFG).
It’s also reported that Messi could be offered an equity stake in CFG as part of his compensation package.
It’s a contract offer that would cement the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s status as the best-paid footballer on the planet for the remainder of his career.
Messi is desperate to work under Guardiola again, with a source close to the player saying: “Messi thinks Guardiola took the best football out of him, and he wants to repeat that.”
However, the deal is solely reliant on whether Barca will agree to let their prized asset leave the club for free this summer.
According to a Barcelona source, president Josep Maria Bartomeu does “not want to be remembered as the president who transferred Messi”.
But the Spanish club – who’re heavily in debt – will have to soon ask themselves; is there any point in keeping such a highly-paid player when they’re so desperate to leave?