Manchester City are ready to offer Lionel Messi an incredible $600 million over five years if he leaves Barcelona, reports claims.
The 33-year-old — who has one year left on his contract with Barcelona — expressed his desire to depart Catalonia after the club were humiliated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Manchester City is believed to be in pole position to sign the Argentinian international, where he’d be reunited with manager Pep Guardiola. Speculation regarding his future intensified over the weekend after Messi snubbed coronavirus testing in Barcelona.
There has even been talk that Messi has spoke to Guardiola and told him he believes he can win two Ballon d’Or titles at the Etihad.
And now Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri has claimed that City are ready to pay Messi $600 million over five years. He even suggested that the club would pay him a $300 million bonus after three years in England, where he would then join sister club New York City FC.
Palmeri didn’t state how much City would pay Barca in order to secure his services.
He tweeted: “Boom. Manchester City would pay Messi €500m (£446m) net for 5 years!”
Palmeri also told his 203,000 followers that Messi’s father Jorge will meet with Barca chief Josep Maria Bartomeu this week to discuss his future.
“Barcelona president Bartomeu and Messi’s father to meet on Wednesday,” Palmeri tweeted. That report was later confirmed by ESPN.com, among others.
Messi had been hoping to leave the club on a free transfer this summer due to a clause in his contract, but LaLiga have dismissed his claim, keeping his $800 million release clause intact.
Spanish media have stated that City are lining up an $120 million bid for Messi, while also offering Barca Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia.