Lionel Messi set for EARTH-SHATTERING £358m January transfer: Barcelona star signing would smash the world transfer record
Manchester City could be set to bid £358million in an attempt to lure Lionel Messi to the Premier League from Barcelona.
Messi, 30, has been at the Camp Nou since the age of 13 and has grown into the best player in the world, arguably history, winning five Ballon d’Or crowns and countless more trophies with the Catalans. He has always seemed impossible to buy, but City are looking to change that.
But after Paris Saint-Germain set a precedent by paying Neymar’s £196million buyout clause from the Blaugrana, buying Messi seems more realistic. Barcelona are already vulnerable to losing him, with his contract expiring in the summer. Clubs will be able to negotiate with the Argentine ahead of free transfer next year in January, but Pep Guardiola wants to blow the competition out of the water by putting together a mega deal, the Daily Mirror claims.
Guardiola is arguably the most important man in Messi’s career. The pair worked together at Barça for four years between 2008 and 2012, and the player’s career really took off in that period; he began to play regularly in a central attacking role and he has been breaking all sorts of records ever since.
Messi has always said he owes Barcelona because they made him who he is today, bringing him over from Argentina and paying for his artificial growth treatment. For that reason, according to him, he will stay until he is no longer wanted. Guardiola has also always said that Messi should end his career where he is, but with issues at boardroom level and his new contract not yet signed, even Messi must be beginning to think.
There are other ties to Manchester City for Messi, not just Guardiola. His best friend and long time international roommate is Sergio Aguero, who would love to link up with him at club level, is still going strong at the Etihad Stadium despite currently finding himself out injured with a rib problem after a recent car crash. There is little doubting that Aguero would do all he could to persuade Messi to join him.
City already have a wealth of attacking quality, with Gabriel Jesus another option up front. Adding Messi would almost be unfair, but despite always maintaining he’ll not leave Barcelona in his prime, the chances of this amazing deal actually happening may well be increasing.