Manchester City are willing to pay Lionel Messi’s €300m release clause to sign the Barcelona legend.
City have already spent big this summer, signing full-backs Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy, as well as goalkeeper Ederson and winger Bernardo Silva, but Yahoo Sport France believes Messi could be set to leave the Nou Camp for the Premier League.
Messi is seen as a legend at Barcelona, having won five Ballons d’Or titles as well as countless domestic and European honours with Ernesto Valverde’s club, but the potential triggering of the release clause could offer the Argentina international the chance of trying something new.
Messi would demand a starting spot under City manager Pep Guardiola, with whom he worked during the pair’s time together at Barcelona, and would add to an already exciting forward line.
The chance of joining another European heavyweight could be appealing to Messi, who played during Barcelona’s humiliating 5-1 aggregate defeat to bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana.
The 30-year-old became one of the best players in the world under Guardiola, who is into his second season as Manchester City manager with the Citizens touted by many to be favourites for the Premier League title.
City have spent over £200m so far this summer, with Kelechi Iheanacho leaving for Leicester for £25m and Aleksandar Kolarov, Nolito and Fernando also departing.
Whether Messi would be willing to leave his boyhood club remains to be seen, with the forward having made over 600 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 519 goals.