City shoot down Messi link

Manchester City

Etihad insiders have dismissed claims that Manchester City are poised to bid £358m for Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

And Man City officials will not allow their name to be used as the Argentina sensation now decides whether to follow up on a verbal agreement to sign a new Barcelona deal.

Messi is contracted until 2018 and reports in Spain have stated the Citizens are willing to pay his current buy-out figure of £200million, in addition to paying him wages of £800,000 per week.

That has certainly raised eyebrows back in Manchester, especially when the player is able to run down the remainder of his deal and quit Camp Nou next summer on a free transfer.

City have long been considered the front-runners for Messi’s signature, should the 29-year-old one day decide to leave Barcelona, due to his previous close relationship to boss Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola is believed to be of the opinion that Messi will never leave Catalonia, and he would be one of the first to know if his former protege was serious about now making a sensational switch to City.