Manchester City will reportedly ‘try until the end’ to sign Lionel Messi.
The Argentine superstar informed the club last month that he wished to leave in the wake of their 8-2 Champions League thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich, claiming a clause in his contract would allow him to walk away for free.
That has been disputed by Barca, who on Wednesday held talks with Messi’s father Jorge after he arrived in Spain.
It is understood that the two parties failed to come to an agreement over the superstar’s exit which means, for now, Messi remains part of the Barca squad.
Well-respected journalist Guillem Balague has now shared his inside knowledge on the saga, believing City will continue to monitor the situation unless Messi commits his future elsewhere.
Indeed, Messi’s dad has already been informed by City that they are desperate to sign him but will not get involved if there is a court case.
It is also claimed that the Premier League giants will not be able to afford a transfer fee of more than €100m, with Messi expected to demand a mammoth salary.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is attempting to activate expired earlier in the year but that he feels – because the season was extended following the coronavirus pandemic – the expiration date should also be adjusted accordingly.
Barcelona disagree and were backed by La Liga on Sunday, hours after Messi failed to show up for his scheduled Covid-19 test which would have allowed him to start pre-season training with new head coach Ronald Koeman the following day.
Victor Font, one of Barca’s presidential candidates, has said the player and club need to come to a “reasonable agreement” over his future.
“We need the two parties to sit down and discuss to ensure that whatever transition needs to happen,” Font told talkSPORT.
“I’m truly hoping reason prevails and as soon as the club and Messi’s father sit down and talk, that the interest of both Messi and Barca will be taken into account and properly protected.
“What I believe is very important is that a reasonable agreement is reached, so that we protect the interests of the club going forward.
“The damage this is doing to Barcelona is quite phenomenal. That’s why we insist in the relevance of managing this properly because it can still be contained.”