REVEALED: Man City have a 10-YEAR strategy to maximise Lionel Messi’s pulling power – including a potential swansong in New York – with club able to discuss a free transfer from January 1 after summer move from Barcelona collapsed
- Manchester City showed the strongest interest in Lionel Messi over the summer
- Pep Guardiola remains interested in signing the Argentinian maestro in 2021
- Messi could play for another City Football Group side, possibly New York City FC
- The serial record-breaker can negotiate a free transfer move from January 1
- Guardiola and Messi won 14 trophies in four years together at the Nou Camp
Manchester City devised a 10-year strategy to maximise the benefit of landing Lionel Messi from Barcelona, Sportsmail can reveal.
Messi’s attempts to secure a summer move to City were scuppered after Barcelona showed that a release clause in his deal had expired.
Lionel Messi sensationally asked to leave Barcelona last summer after 16 years in the first team
City remain interested in signing the Argentine, 33, next year — with plans to discuss a decade-long association with City Football Group, who own 10 clubs.
That would start with a multi-year contract to play for Pep Guardiola.
Yet club officials, who believe the influx of fresh commercial revenues would go a long way to financing a mega-money deal, hope the relationship would extend far further.
Messi and Pep Guardiola enjoyed a phenomenally successfully spell together at Barcelona
New York City FC has been suggested as another possibility for Messi if he leaves Barcelona
The option of Messi starring for another CFG team has been floated, with New York City suggested as a destination.
Messi is free to speak with interested parties regarding a free transfer from January 1.
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