It’s been the biggest non-transfer story of the recent few years, will Lionel Messi finally tear himself away from his beloved Barcelona and join the Premier League.
Up till now it’s been a relative fairytale even for the league’s uber rich, Manchester City however, very much at the top of that list, now believe they have made genuine headway in signing the Argentinian genius.
Armed with an eye watering £200m, not to mention the Mr Miyagi figure of Pep Guardiola waiting in tow, City have been watching the contract negotiations of the multi Champions League winner extremely carefully.
Reports are that the 29 year old is stalling on extending his deal with the Catalans. With the fact that just 18 months remain on his contract, Barca will need to think hard whether they want to either risk losing their man for a vastly reduced fee (if not nothing) or take decent money whilst he’s attracting a premium fee.
The Citizens are thought to be undeterred by the players £215m buy-out given the Spanish clubs conundrum.
Even if they offered a world record £100m+ for the Argentine, wages of £500,000 plus bonuses etc would see the player be worth £200m in its entirety. No chump change for a player nearing his 30th birthday, even if he’s one the greatest players to play the game.
Manchester United and PSG, two of the three clubs even able to entertain the potential deal, will also be watching the situation intently.
Just this weekend, Barcelona were reminded of Messi’a importance after only managing a 0-0 draw with Malaga in his absence.
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