English Premier League club Manchester City is set to make a world-record bid for Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the end of the season, according to a report in British tabloid newspaper The Sun.

Apparently, the Citizens are ready to part with $140 million to land the 21-year-old, with owner Sulaiman Al-Fahim having given the deal the go-ahead.

It is claimed that Al-Fahim is a huge fan of Argentine soccer and wants the national team's premier star playing for his own club.

"I've never worked with Maradona and I am not sure if he will be a good coach for Argentina," The Sun quotes Al-Fahim as saying. "But I want to work with Messi soon because he makes me love Argentina again."

The 5-foot-7 forward has been in terrific form for la Blaugrana this season, scoring 17 league goals in 22 Primera Division games and five in six Champions League fixtures.

However, it remains to be seen whether the Rosario-born playmaker is keen to leave a club currently challenging for top honors to join a side that, at present, can only aspire to do so.

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