Man City willing to pay 'large sum of money' for Lionel Messi - striker could be offered in player plus cash deal

The next few days are to be decisive if Manchester City are to sign Lionel Messi according to journalist Sam Lee, as further reports continue to emerge, linking the Barcelona legend to the Etihad, after the news that Messi wants to leave the Nou Camp broke on Tuesday evening.
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The next few days are to be decisive if Manchester City are to sign Lionel Messi according to journalist Sam Lee, as further reports continue to emerge, linking the Barcelona legend to the Etihad, after the news that Messi wants to leave the Nou Camp broke on Tuesday evening.

Messi, aged 33, reportedly sent a fax to the Barcelona hierarchy on Tuesday evening asking to trigger the clause in the contract which would allow him to move for free; after much speculation around his future, following the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Quarter-finals.

The Athletic have described Manchester City as being in the “wait and see” territory on a deal for Messi, with the outlet reporting that meetings had been held and conversations had been had around a potential deal. The Athletic go on to suggest that senior figures at the club including Pep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano don’t however want to be the bad guys at the Nou Camp.

Veronica Brunati reported that there had already been contacts made over a potential move to England and according to Gerard Romero, the Blues had been studying the idea of a deal and are seen as the club with the “most possibilities” for Messi. Further to this, Romero also believes that City would be willing to pay a “large sum of money” for the 33 year old, though they could also be willing to offer players.

Those players are reported to be Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia. The latter, has already made it clear that he doesn’t intend to stay at Manchester City beyond his current contract and is a known target of the Catalan side, even more so, since the appointment of Ronald Koeman.

The other, Gabriel Jesus, is though a bit of surprise. After an impressive season, including goals in both legs against Real Madrid in the Champions League, Globoesporte, in Jesus’ home country of Brasil are reporting that City are willing to use to the striker as part of player plus cash swap deal with Barcelona. The 23 year old had been linked with a move to Juventus earlier this year but according to Alexandre Lozetti, the La Liga giants see Jesus as replacement for Luis Suarez, who is also rumoured to want a move away.

Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly be a major factor in a potential deal for Messi and Catalunya Radio have reported that the Argentine midfielder contacted the current City boss a few days ago because he wants a winning project. Pol Ballus described Messi to Manchester City as a “blessing” for Pep Guardiola, Though urged caution by saying that this is not a deal that will be done in two days. 

Ballus also said that an offer should not be ruled out, given the club have no monetary problems and are wanting to make big investments. Investments, thought to be able to total £300 million for this current transfer window. 

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