According to reports in Spain, Manchester City are preparing an eye-watering £164 million offer to bring Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to the Etihad Stadium.
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner has been in impressive form for the Catalan giants this season, despite suffering a number of injury setbacks, scoring 40 times in 43 games under Gerardo Martino.
Barcelona have endured a tough campaign with defeats in the Champions League quarter-finals and in the Copa Del Rey final. The Blaugrana are also lagging behind in the race for the Spanish league title, sitting three points behind Atletico Madrid with just two fixtures remaining.
Reports in Spain indicate that the Messi has grown frustrated with life in Catalonia following recent criticism from the supporters and also with his role in the squad. There are also suggestions that he is stalling on a new contract in the hope that a move to one of Europe's biggest clubs materialises.
Irrespective of Manchester City’s riches and despite recent speculation suggesting a breakdown in contract negotiations with Barca, it’s inconceivable that Lionel Messi would opt to leave the club that has nurtured him from a tender age. Jumping ship after one tough season just isn’t his style.
What’s more, his sale would undoubtedly backfire for the club. He is an irreplaceable player and a priceless asset. Granted, Barca need to undertake a serious rebuilding project over the summer window, but selling arguably the world’s greatest player will only constitute a step in the wrong direction.
It would, however, be an incredible feat if former Barcelona duo Txiki Beguiristain and Ferran Soriano were able to convince the Argentine international with a move to the Etihad. Just imagine the link-up play between him and fellow countryman Sergio Aguero...