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Man City exploring options to sign Messi

Man City exploring FFP-friendly options to sign Barcelona superstar Messi

August 25, 2020 By Ali M.
The Citizens have their eyes on Leo's situation, with the Argentine icon being heavily linked with a Camp Nou exit.

With Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona under heavy doubt, some of Europe's biggest clubs are said to be closely following the situation. Man City are among them, with ESPN claiming the Premier League heavyweights are "looking into the costs that would be involved" to lure the iconic Argentine away from the Camp Nou. 

The decline of the Blaugrana is said to be the driving force behind Leo's desire to leave. While it remains unclear whether that desire will trump his love for the club and city he has known for almost 20 years, it has been reported that he informed newly-appointed coach Ronald Koeman that he sees himself "further away than closer" to Barcelona in their first meeting.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner, who is 33, wishes to be a part of a winning project in what is the final years of his illustrious career. However, he has lost faith in current president Josep Maria Bartomeu and is not sold on their project.

Man City are aware of this and have their eyes out for any new developments. While Guardiola states publicly that the club are not after Messi, behind closed doors, they are calculating whether they can pull off a deal and avoid FFP breaches should the opportunity to sign the Argentine emerge.

As of now, Barcelona remain adamant that their captain is not for sale. His $827M release clause has and will be used as a shield to deflect interest in La Pulga. Regardless, the attacker is into the final 12 months of his contract and his ongoing silence in the wake of the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich has created an air of unease. In fact, it's being speculated that some board members are keen on selling Messi should his heart not be at the Camp Nou. His departure would generate a lot of funds which would in turn be invested into rebuilding the squad.

However, that very same report from ESPN brings up two important issues that could make a move for Leo nearly impossible. First is the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial recession it has brought upon the footballing world, with even the mega-rich such as Man City not being exempt. The other key point to factor in is the Citizens recent run-in with UEFA regarding alleged FFP breaches.

The Premier League outfit were initially banned from the Champions League for two-years but won an appeal at the CAS. Nonetheless, their finances and spending will remain under the watchful eyes of UEFA and the general public for the foreseeable future as many felt they got off on a mere technicality.


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