Manchester City deny tabling £430m contract offer for Lionel Messi

Manchester City deny tabling £430m contract offer for Lionel Messi

Manchester City have ‘emphatically’ denied making any offer to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, or even opening talks with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner amid claims that they have presented him with a contract worth a total of £430m.

Messi is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season. He is yet to make his mind up about his future and it would not be a surprise to see him leave Camp Nou as a free agent.

Messi is contemplating leaving Barcelona this coming summer | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

The 33-year-old wanted to quit the club last summer, only for Barça to block his attempts to trigger a clause in his contract what would have allowed him to leave a year early. With his only option then to take the club to court, he chose to back down instead of force the issue.

There are very few viable options for Messi outside Barcelona, but City have been most heavily linked alongside Paris Saint-Germain. Joining City would mean reuniting with mentor Pep Guardiola, while the sky blues have spent the last 10 years building their own version of Barcelona off the pitch.

PSG haven’t hidden their admiration for Messi and magazine France Football even mocked up an image of him wearing PSG colours for a recent cover spread.

But a tabloid story this week that City have put forward an offer is thought to be wide of the mark.

A report from The Sun alleged that City had presented Messi with a five-year contract worth £430m, including three further years of ambassadorial roles with the City Football Group. It is claimed that deal is down on a £600m contract Messi was supposedly offered last summer.

However, the Daily Mail cites a City spokesperson who says there is no truth in the story: “There have been no offers made, either in the summer or since. And there are no talks.”

That version of events also ties into what has previously been reported on the developing saga.

Earlier this month it was revealed that City are taking the opposite approach to PSG and are being much more patient and distant than the noisy French champions.

Pep GuardiolaPep Guardiola
Messi could reunite with Pep Guardiola at City | Pool/Getty Images

City have been tipped to delay making any sort of approach until at least or April, which could command greater respect from Messi himself, with the player said to hate the media circus that surrounds his uncertain future and that PSG are helping to fuel.

Messi said during an interview in December that he would not be deciding his future until June and will not engage in talks with any clubs until that decision is made, even though he is now already eligible to do so with a view to signing a pre-contract agreement.

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