Despite the huge transfer saga surrounding Lionel Messi in the summer, the Argentine decided to stay at Barcelona for at least another year and see out his current contract. The 33-year-old was tipped to join Manchester City and reunite with former manager Pep Guardiola if he left the Catalan club. However, the Premier League giants are still hopeful of signing their ‘dream star’ in 2021. Josep Maria Bartomeu Reportedly Frustrates Lionel Messi Once Again, Asks Barcelona Captain to Accept Another Pay Cut.
According to a recent report from the Daily Star, Manchester City are plotting a move to bring Lionel Messi to Manchester this winter. Despite wanting to leave for free, a clause with the Argentine believed to have existed in his contract, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner wasn’t allowed to move on as Barcelona asked for clubs to pay his release clause of 700 million Euros if they want to sign the 33-year-old. Sergino Dest Excited to Rub Shoulders With Lionel Messi, Says ‘It's Amazing To Play With The Best Player In The World’.
Due to such high fees, the move didn’t materialise and Lionel Messi ended up staying at Barcelona. But with the Argentine’s contract ending in 2021, he will be a free agent and Manchester City are looking to take advantage of that. It is understood that the Premier League side are planning to pay cash-strapped Barcelona a nominal fee in the January transfer window.
Manchester City will offer of £15 million to the Catalan club for the Argentine as they believe that this will put them in the front running for the Argentine’s signature as the Catalan club might accept the offer instead of letting their top goal-scorer leave for free in the next summer window as his contract is set to run out.
Earlier, Manchester City’s Chief Football Operations Manager, Omar Berrada, had said that the clubs have the financial resources to sign Lionel Messi next year. However, with a new Barcelona president set to be appointed before the end of the current season, it remains to be seen if the Argentine renews his contract with the club or decides to move on.