Man City’s Lionel Messi offer ‘to include New York City FC clause’

Man City are hoping to tempt Lionel Messi into a switch to The Etihad by offering him the opportunity to play in the MLS at the end of his contract.

The Argentine forward is currently weighing up his next move after informing Barcelona he wishes to leave this summer.

City are one of the clubs at the front of the pack interested in signing him and feel they can lure the Barca skipper with an option of moving to sister club New York City FC after three years.

Both clubs are owned by the City Football Group making a transition relatively straightforward.

ESPN report that Messi could even be in line for an ambassadorial role once his playing days are up with the group owning a number of clubs worldwide.

Messi still harbours ambitions of winning the Champions League, something he feels is not likely at Barcelona at the present time.

At 33 he has limited time left to add another European Cup to his trophy cabinet but a reunion with former boss Pep Guardiola could help that become a reality.

City are now considering a huge financial package to tie Messi to the club for three years – taking him past his 36th birthday – which would include a clause enabling him to then go and play stateside.

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Key to City's bid will be whether Messi is able to leave Barcelona on a free as he has requested to do via a clause in his contract.

Barcelona are adamant that clause expired back in June though Messi is arguing his case due to the end of the season being suspended by several months.

Messi only has a year remaining on his current deal so City could otherwise try and broker a transfer with Barcelona for less than his £630million release clause.

Would Man City be a good move for Lionel Messi? Have your say below.

With the forward's extortionate wages on top though City run the risk of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) guidelines unless they are able to find a solution.

PSG and Inter Milan are also among the leading candidates for his signature, but Barcelona remain confident they will not be forced into a sale.

Former Barca legend Rivaldo has added his thoughts to the situation and believes Man City could pose the "best option" for Messi.

"He's 33 but his quality and talent are both unquestionable and I think he still has a few more years at the top," Rivaldo told Betfair. "He could quickly start shining in England.

"Guardiola has deep knowledge of Messi's abilities and would find a solution to quickly incorporate him into the team and get the best from him.

"I even imagine Guardiola building the rest of his team around Messi. His talent can make the difference at any place and at any time, and I'm sure he could produce match-winning performances in the Premier League."

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