Ahead of a summer transfer, ongoing talks between Man City and Lionel Messi are reportedly ‘at an advanced level.’
After sending a shock transfer request earlier this week, Messi was closely linked to a move to the Etihad.
Following a trophy-less season under Quique Setien, the Argentine superstar has become disillusioned with the club’s course.
Despite the sack of Setien, Messi wishes to step away from the Nou Camp. Man City, Juventus, PSG, and Man Utd were all applauded with a player pass.
City has since emerged as the favourites to sign Messi, with an important explanation being former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
According to transfer expert Ian McGarry, talks between Messi and City are now ‘at an advanced stage’, which means a transfer could be concluded in the coming weeks.
His commentary on The Transfer Window podcast, McGarry said: “We can tell you that our sources, which of course fuelled the original story, have told us that contract negotiations with the Argentina and Barcelona captain are at an advanced stage, although no conclusion has been reached yet.
“These are very complex negotiations, partly because Messi earns so much money, around €90m gross currently at Barcelona, but also he earns just as much in image rights as he does in basic salary for his football.
“Therefore this is going to be quite a difficult contract to conclude, although Manchester City, we understand, are determined to ensure that they get the player’s signature.”
Signing Messi would be a remarkable signal of intent from the Manchester club.
They are in the process of tabling a £90 million bid in exchange for the playmaker plus three players.
The 33-year-old had previously spoken about his intention to end his Nou Camp career, but the club’s new leadership has forced him to rethink.
The controversy over Messi ‘s contract is one big stumbling block to a possible transfer. The player claims he can exercise a clause which means he will leave this summer on a free transfer.
Barca denies this argument and has claimed that he would be able to leave only if his release condition of £629 million is fulfilled.