Manchester City are preparing a bid for Lionel Messi and are likely to make an offer to Barcelona in the January transfer window, say reports in the British media. Messi was close to joining City in the summer but was compelled to stay back at Camp Nou after Barcelona warned they will take legal action to keep the Argentine superstar at the club. Messi was forced into staying at Barcelona after the club threatened to take legal action if he left for free despite the player arguing a clause in his contract allowed him to leave by his choice. City were the favourites to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner before things took a weird turn. Lionel Messi Transfer News Update: Barcelona Star's Father Responds To PSG Links.
But despite the summer disappointment, City are reportedly still monitoring Messi’s situation and are planning to make a bid for the Barcelona talisman in the winter transfer window knowing Barcelona are desperate to make some money from player sales. Messi’s current contract at Barcelona expires next summer and the 33-year-old will be free to discuss terms with any other club post the January transfer window. Although club figures at Barcelona have stated Messi will sign a new deal with the club, it looks far from taking place. Lionel Messi ‘Difficult to Manage’ Admits Former Barcelona Manager Quique Setien.
Barcelona’s current debt stands at 437 million Pounds and the club have been barred from signing new players until they make an appropriate sale. City view this as an opportunity to lure the La Liga club into selling Messi with a bid of around 60 Million Pounds. Messi’s contract situation, which expires at the end of this season, also plays into City’s hands and with the Argentine still not close to renewing his contract, City could bring him to the Etihad this winter.
Another factor for City to express their interest in signing Messi is also to keep coach Pep Guardiola at the club. Guardiola, like Messi, will be out of contract in the summer and despite repeated pursuits from the club, he reportedly is yet to commit towards a new deal. City are confident they will be able to convince the Spaniard and former Barcelona manager into extending his stay at Manchester if they manage to sign Messi from Barcelona.
Guardiola and Messi heralded one of the finest spells a football club have enjoyed during their time at Barcelona. Together they won 14 trophies between 2008 and 2012 and both are reportedly keen on reuniting again. Messi and Guardiola are desperate to win the UEFA Champions League once again and that remains one of the prime reasons why Messi attempted to steal a ‘failed’ move to Manchester City this summer.