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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Lionel Messi heading for Man City?



•Soccer superstar Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is seriously contemplating quitting Barcelona next summer and his dad has already spoken to Manchester City about making a sensational switch to the Etihad.

The Argentine – who is considering his options – is yet to sign a new contract with Barcelona despite his current deal expiring next year, meaning he could leave the club as a free agent and talk to potential suitors in January.

The UK Sun claim that Jorge Messi, Leo’s father, met with City director of football Txiki Begiristain recently to discuss a potential move to the Premier League.

The Argentine is seriously considering his options at Camp Nou after watching in dismay as Neymar was allowed to join PSG after the French giants paid up his £198 million buyout clause.

Messi is believed to have his own buyout clause set at £263 million, though Barcelona have astonishingly allowed his contract to run down, meaning he will cost nothing if he moves next summer.

City have long been interested in trying to bring Messi to Manchester, wowing the 30-year-old when he visited the club’s Carrington training ground with the Argentine national team.

He already knows numerous players at City, both teammates such as Sergio Aguero as well as Begiristain and City chief executive Ferran Soriano, who were at Barcelona when Messi emerged.

No club could sign Messi without falling foul of Financial Fair Play, but signing him on a Bosman would get around that issue and allow clubs to offer him an enormous salary package and signing on fee.

Barcelona are still confident that Messi can be convinced to remain at the club, though for now both the player and his father are stalling on the deal.

Man City deny they are making a move for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but they are long-time admirers of the superstar and are watching his situation unfold with great interest. (NAN)

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