Lionel Messi linked with shock Manchester City move

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi could join Manchester City next summer, according to the Mail on Sunday.

It's reported that Messi, who turned professional at the Camp Nou a decade ago, is becoming increasingly stressed with the pressure he is put under by the club to play when not fully fit.

The Argentina international, widely regarded as the best player of his generation, has struggled with injuries since the departure of Pep Guardiola in 2012.

And he is expected to be out of action until at least mid-January after suffering a muscle tear in his left hamstring, possibly brought on after not being left to make a full recovery from a previous injury.

City would need to pay a world-record fee for the 26-year-old, who is contention to win a fifth successive Ballon d'Or in January, but it's believed that any Financial Fair Play obstacles could be hurdled by a "complex playing/commercial/image rights deal with Nike".

Several "super agents" are also looking into the possibility of whether a deal could be done next summer.

Messi has always insisted that he hopes to spend his entire career with Barcelona, but will he be wearing Manchester City colours after the 2014 World Cup finals?

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