Manchester City is the main candidate to sign Lionel Messi, who wants to leave Barcelona. However, according to the Spanish newspaper “Mundo Deportivo”, the hiring will only occur if the Argentine star manages to leave the Catalan club free of charge.
Pep Guardiola, who returned to England last Monday after spending a few days in Spain, would have heard from City officials that the deal was unfeasible, even if it was for a value well below the severance fine demanded by Barcelona of 700 million euros.
After studying the possibilities, the club’s management does not want to risk a new legal battle with Fifa on account of financial fair play. Manchester City even narrowly escaped being left out of the next two Champions because of excessive spending. Guardiola, even, would have advised Messi to stay with Barcelona and fulfill the rest of the contract (until June 2021) if he does not get the release.