According to ESPN, Manchester City are plotting a unique contract offer for wantaway Barcelona great Lionel Messi that would include a later move to the MLS with their partner club New York City.
ESPN report that such a deal would see Messi spend three years with the Manchester outfit in the Premier League before heading to New York City until his retirement.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner reportedly told the Catalan outfit that he wishes to leave on Tuesday, with speculation running rife regarding a reunion with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.
In addition, City’s hierarchy may also offer the Argentine a position as an ambassador for the City Football Group, who own a number of clubs across the world.
ESPN actually report that City aren’t restricted to only pursuing Messi if he’s granted a free transfer by Barcelona, as they’d be willing to splash around €100-€150m on the superstar.
It’s claimed that Guardiola even spoke with Messi last week regarding a move to the Citizens and the project that the all-time great would be part of in Manchester.
If Barcelona refuse to allow Messi to leave on a free – with the attacker’s break clause technically expired – the Blaugrana could price sides out of a transfer by sticking to the Argentine’s €700m release clause.
ESPN add that Messi’s lawyers believe this clause should still stand as the season was prolonged by the Coronavirus pandemic.
No club would be able to facilitate a transfer for Messi within the regulations of Financial Fair Play Rules if the tricky attacker would cost €700m.
Messi was superb this season with with 31 goals and 26 assists across all competitions, unfortunately the Argentine’s wonderful individual displays couldn’t secure any major honours.
Barcelona were knocked out of the Copa del Rey in a shock defeat, lost the La Liga title race after a shaky run-in and were embarrassed as they exited the Champions League in an 8-2 defeat to Bayern.