Manchester City are preparing to make an audacious bid for Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the summer transfer window, which would make the Argentine the most expensive player in football.
Although the Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has claimed Lionel Messi will be offered a new contract in the summer, it is unclear whether he will sign on as sources close to the diminutive play maker have revealed that he has become disillusioned with Barcelona's hierarchy, with certain board members making it clear that they feel Messi's abilities are waning.
It is also believed that since Neymar's arrival, Messi does not feel like the main man in Gerardo Martino's side, leading him to consider his future at the Camp Nou. This will serve as an unnecessary distraction to Barcelona's fans and players and will add to their on-field woes, with the Blaugrana on course to finish a season with no silverware for the first time since 2008.
This is due to Barcelona being knocked out of the quarter finals of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, losing in the final of the Copa del Ray to Real Madrid and losing to relegation threatened Granada, which meant they lost ground in the title race. Results which all took place in the space of nine days.
Manuel Pellegrini would not struggle to fit Messi into his fluid 4-2-3-1 system although he may have to offload some players in order to comply with Financial Fair Play rules. This could lead to the departure of Edin Dzeko, with Arsenal and Inter Milan interested in the Bosnian and Stevan Jovetic, who has not enjoyed his debut season at the Etihad.
However, Manchester City are not the only team on the trail of Messi, with Bayern Munich, Paris St Germain and Real Madrid monitoring his situation. It remains to be seen whether the Argentina forward will commit his future to the catalan giants or decides to call time on his 15 year stay at the Camp Nou.