Manchester City are becoming increasingly confident of pulling off the shock signing of Lionel Messi in the summer.
The 29-year-old does not appear to be signing a new contract at the Nou Camp, though there are conflicting reports over whether he will put pen to paper and eclipse Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best-paid player.
The Argentine has 18 months left on his current deal, so by the summer of 2018, he could leave for nothing. Obviously, Barca aren’t about to let that happen, but it does mean they may be forced to cash in on the superstar before that.
Pep Guardiola’s presence at the Etihad – and their pots of money – is always going to make City the favourites.
According to the Manchester Evening News, City believe they can tempt him as he has become disillusioned with living in Spain following his tax case.
It’s always been thought that Messi would see out his career with the Catalan club, but it seems more and more unlikely that that’s going to happen.