The Argentine attacker has long been hailed as the world’s very best player, with his performances for the Catalan club over the course of the past few years having helped them to become, arguably, Europe’s top side.
But this term he has been off of his best, which has led to speculation in Spain that he could be sold as the Nou Camp outfit set about ushering in a new era of success.
City are one of only a few clubs on the planet that could feasibly fund a deal for Messi, with their Middle Eastern backers having demonstrated on a number of occasions that they are willing to bankroll mega moves in the transfer market.
It is understood that they are plotting a massive £250m swoop for the 26-year-old, which they will be willing to press ahead with if he indicates that he’s ready to leave Barca in search of a new challenge.
Messi would also be placed on a salary far above that of Wayne Rooney, who pockets a whopping £300,000-per-week after penning his most recent extension.
Paris Saint-Germain may also move for the South American, but the lure of Premier League football may be more appealing to the player himself.
A deal also hinges on the outcome of Barca’s imminent appeal against their transfer ban.
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