Manchester City have reportedly told Barcelona they are willing to spend up to £100million to bring Lionel Messi to the Etihad Stadium.
It is understood that representatives from both clubs discussed the possibility of the deal last month, and while no deal was struck, City officials have been encouraged by the Catalan club’s willingness to negotiate.
The transfer would be a welcome one for under-fire manager Pep Guardiola who has struggled since becoming City boss in the summer, enduring his biggest league defeat of his career on Sunday at the hands of Everton.
The Spanish boss’ relationship with Messi is said to be enough of a lure to seal the transfer and it is said City are willing to overpass the world record £89.3million fee rivals Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer to land their man.
Messi has watched on as team-mates Neymar and Luis Suarez have received fresh new contracts, and according to reports in The Sun, it is said that Barcelona are unable to afford the bumper deal the Argentinian would expect.
However, the paper suggests City would offer the five-time World Player of the Year world-record wages of £800,000 a week to complete the transfer.