Manchester City are reportedly still keen on landing world number-one Lionel Messi next summer after a failed attempt to lure the elite attacker to the Etihad failed to materialise earlier this year.
Messi, 33, has spent his entire career with Barcelona after joining their illustrious youth academy all the way back in 1995.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has enjoyed arguably the most successful playing career in history after winning a monumental 36 major trophies including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.
The world-class Argentinian attacker has featured in over 730 matches for Barcelona and has been directly involved in a simply stunning 914 goals in all competitions.
However, despite a hugely successful career spanning over 25 years with the Catalonian giants, Messi’s future was thrown into doubt earlier this year after suggestions the South American is growing increasingly unhappy at the club which the striker later echoed himself during an interview with Goal.
Messi’s long-term future appeared to be with former manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, however, after Barcelona refused to budge on their leading attacker’s €700m release clause, a summer move unsurprisingly failed to happen, as per Sky Sports.
Despite Manchester City’s summer disappointment with their failure to capture the sport’s greatest talent, the club’s hierarchy have not been deterred in their ambitions to land the 33-year-old.
Speaking exclusively to Manchester Evening News, Manchester City’s Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada said: “He’s an amazing talent , he’s somebody that can make a significant impact at any club in the world on and off the pitch immediately.
“He’s the best player in the world, he’s the best player of his generation.
“I think any club in the world would like to explore the possibility of him joining their team. The fact that it was commented that he wanted to come to play for City just shows you how far the team has come over the last years where the best talent of his generation and potentially saying he wants to come and play for us.
“It’s hard to guess what could happen. If you think back to those two weeks where everything played out at Barcelona, it’s almost impossible to guess what will happen next summer. Messi is a generational talent, he’s the best player in the world and probably an exception to potential investments that we’d do out of the ordinary but our planning has been done with this current squad and it is being considered with the current opportunities that we have.
“For every single position we have to be prepared because there can be so many things that can happen but at the same time I think we have the financial strength and system ability to make that investment [in a striker] when required.
“That’s what puts us in a position where we feel comfortable that we’ll be able to take the right decision because it also doesn’t mean that we’ll have to rush into anything – first because Sergio [Aguero] and Gabriel [Jesus] are performing very well, they are two of the best strikers in the world right now, and when we do decide to bring in potentially someone else, whether it is next season or the one after that then we will be in a financial position to do it for the right price.”