Premier League champions enter Messi running.
Manchester City could be set to make a staggering £128m bid to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona next summer and attempt to beat their rivals Chelsea to his signature.
The Argentine has been linked several times with a shock move to the Blues recently, with stories emerging recently that the Stamford Bridge club had an £118m for him rejected by Barca this summer, but that they were ready to try for him again next year.
Messi has spent his entire career so far at the Nou Camp, establishing himself as the best player in the world for many years and arguably one of the finest footballers of all time.
A deal for Barcelona to sell him for any price would have seemed unthinkable for a long time, but there have been growing suggestions that the 27-year-old is not entirely happy with life at the club now, with the team in something of a decline since the departure of highly influential and successful manager Pep Guardiola in 2012.
Man City are now hoping to pounce on Messi’s uncertain situation with the Catalan giants, and hope that an offer of around £128m may be enough to persuade the club to seriously consider letting him go.
It still seems unlikely that this offer will be accepted, but if it is then it would smash the current world record transfer fee of £85m that Real Madrid paid Tottenham Hotspur for Gareth Bale last summer.
City will no doubt have to sell a number of players to help fund this move, with the club having already struggled in the past to keep up with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations, though it is understood that they are willing to do what they can to bring Messi to the Etihad Stadium.
It remains to be seen how Chelsea will respond to this and if they will now up their offer in the coming months.