Manchester City are understood to be closing in on a deal for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi – but the Spanish giants are holding out for a huge £250million compromise.
Argentine forward Messi rocked Catalonia by announcing he intends to leave the Nou Camp this summer.
And after much speculation about where he may be heading, it looks as though he is set to reunite with Pep Guardiola.
The Sunday Mirror report that both Barcelona and City believe Messi is leaning towards a move to the Etihad Stadium.
It’s thought that the Blaugrana skipper is keen to play under Guardiola again, which means a highly anticipated switch to the Premier League.
However, in order to allow a move to go ahead, it’s claimed that Barcelona are looking to drive a hard bargain.
As well as at least £120m in cash, Barca also want to steal some of City’s biggest stars.
New Nou Camp boss Ronald Koeman could welcome both Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva to his new look first team, as well as young Spanish defender Eric Garcia.
Meanwhile, Guardiola could offer up a host of other names including: John Stones, Benjamin Mendy, Joao Cancelo and Angelino.
Messi’s father, Jorge, is expected to fly into Spain on Sunday to broker a deal to City.
And the Sky Blues will hope that inevitably means Guardiola extends his stay in Manchester.
A legal battle over whether Messi has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the club for free is expected to ensue next.
But president Josep Maria Bartomeu appeared to admit last year that his poster boy had earned the freedom to choose where he wants to play.
Bartomeu said: “Messi has a contract that he signed two years ago which allows him to leave Barca before the start of the 2020-21 season.
“He can either leave football or go somewhere else.
“Players like him have that freedom because they have earned it. They can decide their future.”