Lionel Messi is seriously contemplating quitting Barcelona next summer and his dad has already spoken to Manchester City about making a sensational switch to the Etihad.
The Argentine – who is considering his options – is yet to sign a new contract with Barca despite his current deal expiring in 2018, meaning he could leave the club as a free agent and freely talk to potential suitors in January.
The UK Sun claim Jorge Messi, Leo’s father, met with City director of football Txiki Begiristain recently to discuss a potential move to the Premier League.
Lionel Messi’s dad begins talks with Premier League club over free transfer
The Argentine is seriously considering his options at Camp Nou after watching in dismay as Neymar was allowed to join PSG after the French giants paid up his £198m buyout clause.
Messi is believed to have his own buyout clause set at £263m, though Barca have astonishingly allowed his contract to run down, meaning he will cost nothing if he moves next summer.
City have long been interested in trying to bring Messi to Manchester, wowing the 30-year-old when he visited the club’s Carrington training ground with the Argentine national team.
He already knows numerous players at City, both teammates such as Sergio Aguero as well as Begiristain and City chief executive Ferran Soriano, who were at Barcelona when Messi emerged.
No club could sign Messi without falling foul of Financial Fair Play, but signing him on a Bosman would get around that issue and allow clubs to offer him an enormous salary package and signing on fee.
Barca are still confident that Messi can be convinced to remain at Camp Nou, though for now both the player and his father are stalling on the deal.
Man City deny they are making a move for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but they are long-time admirers of the superstar and are watching his situation unfold with great interest.