According to the Sun, Manchester City have received a fresh boost in their pursuit of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. The newly-crowned English champions have been told they can sign the mercurial Argentinean this summer if they pay him a staggering £500,000-a-week after tax.
Arguably the greatest player on the planet, Lionel Messi, 33, is out of contract at the end of the season and could potentially leave Barcelona on a free transfer this summer. After a poor last campaign, the diminutive playmaker sensationally revealed that he wished to leave Camp Nou.
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In fact, the Argentinean international had agreed personal terms with Manchester City, just days after having asked to leave the Catalan giants. However, a deal didn’t come to fruition and he stayed put at Barcelona.
The Sun claims Messi is open to the idea of signing a one-year contract, with an option for a further year, if a club is willing to spend a hefty £25million-a-year.
Manchester City remain one of the few European powerhouses with the post-pandemic financial muscle to afford the Camp Nou legend’s lucrative package, the report adds.
Well, Messi signing a new contract extension with Barcelona still looks the most likely, but with the Sun reporting the LaLiga giants’ willingness to throw everything to sign goal-machine Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, it could be the club are not able to match their talismanic skipper’s astronomical demands.
That apparently puts the ball in Manchester City’s court whether to sign Messi or not. The Cityzens will bid goodbye to Sergio Aguero as his contract expires next month, with Barcelona closing in on signing the Argentinean striker. As a matter of fact that Aguero is exiting the Etihad Stadium and Gabriel Jesus having failed to prove himself yet, especially in big games, leaves the door open for Pep Guardiola and co. to sign an attacker this summer.
Despite the ongoing uncertainty over his future, Messi has been in stunning form this season. He has racked up 29 goals and 11 assists in 34 league games, carrying his Barcelona side throughout the season. The Argentinean magician’s form and fitness has quashed suggestions that he is past his prime and proven that he is still the world’s best player even at the ripe age of 33.
One cannot deny the fact that Messi would make any team in the world better, including Manchester City. Given City’s financial clout and Pep Guardiola’s eagerness to reunite with Messi, there’s no reason as to why the Sky Blues cannot lure the Barcelona ace to the Etihad Stadium before the new campaign commences.