Lionel Messi Rumors: Man City 'Confident' of Landing Star If Barca Negotiate

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks on during the Champions League quarterfinal match between FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez/Pool)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Manchester City are reportedly confident they are the likeliest landing spot for legendary soccer star Lionel Messi if FC Barcelona decide to negotiate a transfer.

According to ESPN's Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden, City know completing a deal will be "extremely difficult" since Barca are reluctant to sell Messi and the cost would be astronomically high, but they are "hopeful" Barcelona will give in to Messi's desire to leave.

Messi reportedly called Man City manager Pep Guardiola last week and told him he wanted to leave Barcelona.

ESPN also reported that Paris Saint-Germain have expressed interest in signing Messi. Neymar, who was Messi's teammate for four years at Barcelona and currently plays for PSG, reportedly spoke with Messi on the phone Thursday about a potential transfer to the Ligue 1 squad.

Even so, Manchester City are considered Messi's most likely landing spot if a transfer does occur, per ESPN.

One potential contract with Man City, according to ESPN, is a three-year deal with an option to play two years for New York City FC in MLS afterward. Man City and NYCFC are partner clubs.

Although Messi would be 36 years old upon arriving in MLS under that scenario, bringing him in would be the biggest coup in the history of the league.

The 33-year-old is arguably the sport's greatest player ever and has accomplished nearly every accolade imaginable.

In his 16 seasons with Barca, Messi has helped lead them to 10 La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League victories.

Internationally, he helped Argentina win gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and he took Argentina to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final where they fell 1-0 to Germany.

As an individual, Messi has won multiple player of the year honors, including six Ballon d'Or awards.

Messi is an all-time great scorer with 444 goals in 485 career La Liga matches, as well as 53 Copa del Rey goals, 115 Champions League goals and 22 goals in other competitions for a grand total of 634 career goals at Barcelona.

If Manchester City do manage to land Messi, it would go a long way toward making them the team to beat in the Premier League once again following Liverpool's dominant run to a league title last season.