Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is reportedly unhappy with the way things have been done by Barcelona in the transfer window, with star player Neymar leaving to join European rivals PSG.
This has led intense rumours and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City inquiring about the Argentine as they are willing to bid somewhere around £300 million.
Manchester City have met with Lionel Messi’s representatives to discuss the possibility of bringing the Argentina international to the English Premier League, according to Mirror.
Their meeting was held in a Barcelona restaurant last week and comes amidst the former World Player of the Year’s growing dissatisfaction with the state of Barca’s squad.
Messi and Barcelona agreed a new four-year contract last month which was designed to make the forward the best paid footballer in the history of the game, increasing his basic weekly wage to over £1million.
The deal was announced before it had been signed and more than six weeks since Barca’s press release it has yet to be finalised.
Since that announcement, Barcelona have suffered the embarrassment of losing Neymar – a player the Catalan club publicly declared “200 per-cent” certain to remain at the Camp Nou – to Paris Saint-Germain when the Brazilian’s €222m release clause was triggered.
According to Mirror, Messi “is seriously considering leaving. He is open to a move, but knowing the player it will take him a while to decide”.
Under the terms of his as yet unsigned new contract with Barcelona, Messi’s gross salary will increase to an annual €62m.
At the point of publicising their verbal agreement on that deal, Barca insisted their offer of football’s most lucrative playing contract was instigated by them with the unprecedented salary level designed to reflect Messi’s ability to generate income for the club.
Barcelona delivered total revenues of €620.2m in 2016, the second highest in football after Manchester United’s. Last season, the club budgeted for €695m of income, and according to its own analysis, Messi contributed 20 per cent of that figure.
Barcelona will have their task cut out in the La Liga if Messi decides to move on from Barcelona.