How Manchester City would finance signing Lionel Messi after six-time Ballon d’Or winner sensationally LEAVES Barcelona
MANCHESTER CITY could be ready to move for FREE AGENT Lionel Messi after Barcelona confirmed his shock departure from the club.
Messi, 34, was believed to be close to agreeing a new deal in Spain before a dramatic turn of events saw Barcelona announce his exit due to financial restrictions imposed on the club.
And their loss could be City’s gain, with the club’s Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada confirming last October that the Citizens would be able to finance a move for Messi.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “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.
“(If) we do decide to bring in potentially someone else (Messi), 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.”
Messi reportedly agreed on a deal in principle with Barcelona to reduce his wages by 50%, which means City may be able to afford his wages – unlike the Catalans.
But circumstances at Eastlands have changed with the Citizens having just announced their British record £100MILLION signing of Jack Grealish.
If City do move for Messi they could be rivaled by Paris Saint-Germain, who are believed to have offered the Argentine a lucrative contract.
Messi recently met up with his former team-mate Neymar in Ibiza, and the Brazilian posted an Instagram photo alongside his friend and other PSG stars including Marco Verratti, Angel Di Maria, and Leonardo Paredes.