City were heavily linked with Messi last summer after the Argentine publicly stated his desire to leave the club with whom he’s spent his entire professional career.
Messi ended up staying at Camp Nou due to a contractual misunderstanding, but hasn’t seemed completely content ever since.
The 33 year-old desperately wants to win another Champions League title and doesn’t believe in the sporting project set forth in Catalonia.
This is where City come into the picture. The English club are reportedly preparing an offer between €55m and €60m to sign Messi in January, six months ahead of the expiration of his contract in the summer.
City are said to be considering including centre-back Eric Garcia in the deal, a player Barcelona have long held an interest in re-signing. The Catalan left Barcelona for City in 2017 and is keen to return.
City believe that Barcelona will be tempted to accept their proposal given the financial problems the club are going through due to COVID-19.
Messi was accosted by reporters upon his return to Barcelona after this past international break and asked about reported problems in his relationship with Antoine Griezmann. The Argentine replied angrily, saying he was “tired of always being the problem at this club.”
Messi is said, however, to be waiting to see who will be elected in Barcelona’s presidential elections on January 24th. For City, Messi’s signing could revitalise a title challenge that has been flagging in recent times.
Messi, despite evidently slowing down as he begins to enter his mid-30s, registered 31 goals and 27 assists last season, from 44 appearances. The season before he scored 51 goals and contributed 20 assists from 50 games.
Featured image courtesy of CBS Sports.