Manchester City are willing to SMASH the current world record transfer fee to bring Lionel Messi to the Etihad Stadium, according to reports.
Our colleagues at Yahoo Sport France today revealed that the 30-year-old Argentina international is set to be subject of a serious bid from City.
It is said that the club are willing to meet Messi’s alleged €300m buyout clause which would enable the cash-rich club to legally open talks with the player.
Reports that the World Cup finalist could leave were further agitated by his Instagram account which followed Manchester City’s official account. He previously did this in 2014, though.
The Barcelona star has been seen as one of the best two players in the world for quite some time – with only Cristiano Ronaldo for company.
It is believed Messi could be keen to reunite with Pep Guardiola – who really helped shape the forward at the Nou Camp during his four years at the club between 2008-2012.
Under Guardiola’s management, the LaLiga giants became the world’s best team and Messi spearheaded a side which won three league titles, the Champions League twice and five domestic cups.
As a result, if the move came off it would prove catastrophic for the Catalan club, who are already reeling from the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month.
Neymar’s head was turned by the Parisian club – and Barcelona were forced to let him leave as a result of the mandatory release clause of €222m built into his contract.
It would be a particularly cruel outcome as the selling point for the Brazil star was the chance to emerge from Messi’s shadow.