In the wake of failed contract talks with Barcelona, Lionel Messi is being linked with a world record transfer to Manchester City next summer as the Sky Blues plot to unite the Argentine with his former boss Pep Guardiola.

 

Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola were at the forefront of a golden age for Barcelona and ever since the latter’s departure from the club, there have been questions as to whether the Argentine would swap loyalties in the future as well. That question has never been asked more so than in recent weeks when talks of a contract extension between Messi and the Catalan giants reportedly fell through.

Ever since Guardiola took over the managerial reigns at the Etihad, there have been talks of the club making an audacious attempt to bring in Messi in order to re-unite him with his former boss, who still remains one of his biggest admirers. However, the Marca report from last week throwing light on the failed contract talks has led to fresh speculation about a move by Man City to bring Messi to the Premier League.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Lionel Messi of Barcelona is dejected after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Lionel Messi of Barcelona is dejected after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo courtesy – Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Daily Mirror claim that the Abu Dhabi owners are willing to break the bank in what is expected to be a world record £200 million deal sealing his move to England. The contract reportedly includes basic wages of an incredible £500,000 per week, making him one of the highest paid players in the world.

The Blaugrana’s reported failure to convince Messi to stay on at the club beyond the period stipulated by his current contract has alerted a few European teams who will now consider triggering that gargantuan release clause of £215 million.

The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain have shown interest in the past and it will be no surprise to see them in the mix to sign the star forward in the summer should there be no further progress in the current status of contract talks between the player and Barcelona.

Any deal that will entice the Argentine out of Camp Nou is expected to shatter the existing record fee that brought Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United. But money seemingly isn’t a problem for Guardiola, who is heading an ambitious project at Manchester City with sights set as high as a Champions League crown.

With that in mind, there is no doubt that the signing of Messi, however outlandish it may seem, could be a massive statement of intent from Guardiola’s City to the rest of Europe.

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