Manchester City’s deal for Lionel Messi continues to be mooted.
The Barcelona superstar is, of course, unhappy at Camp Nou, having handed in a bombshell transfer request in the summer.
It appeared that he would be on his way out of Catalonia, but there was a legal wrangle over whether or not he could leave on a free transfer.
Barcelona insisted the answer was no, and he ended up staying, though he has not signed a new contract.
And that has opened the door to a later switch to the Etihad Stadium.
His current deal expires at the end of the season and that means that he could well agree a move in the January transfer window, ahead of his switch happening in the summer.
There is also the prospect of City potentially paying a fee in January so Barcelona can save some face and bank some cash in the process.
But it appears that the discussions are relatively well-advanced.
The Times reports that City are ready to offer him a huge contract but the lead is perhaps the fact that Messi has already discussed a switch with Pep Guardiola.
The two have worked together previously, of course, as he scored a staggering 211 goals in 219 games between 2008/09 and 2011/12. Oh, and he also registered 91 assists.
And it should send Premier League defenders into a cold sweat.
The discussion over the move happened in the summer, meaning that Messi and City clearly both have designs on him ending up in the north east.
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
As Steve Carrell once bellowed in the US Office, it’s happening!
It might finally come to pass that Messi departs Barcelona and embarks on a fresh challenge in his storied, trophy-laden career.
He is 33, of course, and will turn 34 next June, but this is perhaps the best player ever, and it would be an astonishing coup if he ended up at City any time soon.
His age is no barrier to jinking his way through top-flight defences.
If City can do it for free, this might well be the biggest bargain in the history of the sport.News Now - Sport News