The Sun have chosen this dreary Friday morning to drop the mother of all transfer stories. It involves Leo Messi and the Premier League. That alone should be enough to entice you in.
The journalistic powerhouses of Shaun Custis and Martin Lipton have joined forces to produce a story that does not only contain an epic transfer story, but also explains why Barcelona and Messi may be ready to part ways after 11 glorious years together.
First of all, let us look at the headline. Apparently Manchester City have already held informal discussions with the 28-year-old and have told him that they are ready to pay £800,000-a-week to make sure he chooses the Etihad.
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Manchester United would almost certainly throw their hat in if Messi decides to leave Camp Nou, hence why Sheikh Mansour is ready to throw the power of Middle Eastern oil behind this transfer bid.
The wage could see Messi earn a staggering £40million a year, with £32m coming in a standard wage packet and £8m more through performance-related bonuses. It is a huge increase on the £500,000-a-week he currently earns in Barcelona.
Why he wants to leave
While Messi will no doubt enjoy playing with the likes of Luis Suarez and Neymar, he has spent his entire career in La Liga and is tempted by the challenge of winning in the Premier League. He knows his legacy will only be further strengthened if he can repeat his success in the English game.
There is also bad blood between Messi and Nou Camp officials over supposed contract talks. His current deal does not expire until 2018, but he has still been left insulted by their decision to prioritise Neymar's contract talks over his own.
The Brazilian superstar has also emerged as a genuine contender for his crown, scoring 12 goals in 11 La Liga games. Alongside Suarez, Neymar made sure Messi's two-month absence with a knee injury went more-or-less unnoticed.
How much will he cost?
This is big because Messi's £250m release clause would have certainly been the biggest obstacle for Manchester City to overcome. But this new report claims Barcelona would be willing to accept an offer in the region of £120m if Messi made it clear he wanted to leave.
Of course, that would still shatter the transfer record, but considering the commercial power of Messi, it would be something of a bargain for the Citizens. Indeed, Messi would bring millions of fans with him, earning City higher sponsorship deals as a result.
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