Lionel Messi’s dad has held talks with Manchester City chiefs about his son making a sensational switch to the Etihad.
FootTheBall sources revealed that Jorge Messi has held talks with Man City director of football Txiki Begiristain, who left Barcelona in 2012, about the Argentine legend’s future.
Sources have told FootTheBall that the duo discussed the possibility of Messi’s sensational move to Man City.
However, it is understood that it would be difficult to seal the deal and they will have to wait until at least next summer.
If Neymar’s move to PSG has shocked Barcelona – an even bigger threat to Barca’s future is Messi’s unsigned contract as fears continue to grow that the Argentine legend could follow the Brazilian out of the club on a free transfer at the end of this season.
The La Liga giants announced that Messi had signed a new deal just after his wedding in July.
But sources close to the club have later revealed that it was just a premature announcement as the Argentine legend has not put pen to paper – and has just verbally agreed a contract extension – meaning someone could sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for nothing.
However, Barcelona are confident that Messi will sign a new deal when the club would bring replacements – following Neymar’s world-record £198million move to Paris Saint-Germain.
And a potential suitor would have to smash all transfer records – having to pay a stratospheric £263m buy-out clause to rope in the services of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Sources reveal that Messi has doubts about Barcelona’s future and is seriously considering a move away from the Nou Camp next summer.
Man City would be in pole position to capture the little magician as it is known that Messi shares a good bond with Begiristain and City chief executive Ferran Soriano — another ex-Barca man.
City have not revealed their intentions in public but they certainly have not played down rumours.
Man City owners have completed a deal to buy Barcelona’s local La Liga rivals Girona yesterday – and have already spent £213m on transfers this summer.
And they would not be willing to more than double their current spending this summer to land Messi, plus paying him a stratospheric wage-packet, in this window.
Barcelona would not consider selling their superstar so soon – especially following Neymar’s departure.
Sources reveal that City chiefs are interested in landing Messi at the Etihad next summer.
But former Barcelona presidential candidate Agusti Benedito told Spanish radio: “He has still not signed, it’s worrisome.”
“The case of Messi may be worse than with Neymar because right now, as of January 1, he’s free.”