• Man City reportedly have offered a five-year deal to Messi
  • Man City could end up paying $660 million for Messi
  • The player still has a year left in his current deal with Barcelona

Manchester City reportedly have offered Lionel Messi a five-year contract that will include two years of Major League Soccer (MLS).

Ever since Messi has broken the news of leaving FC Barcelona, he has been linked with a few top European clubs, and it is understood that Man City are ahead in the race to sign one of the greatest soccer players to have ever graced the game.

Messi, who still has a year left in his current contract with Barcelona, had a clause that would allow him to leave the Nou Camp side as a free agent. According to Barcelona, the clause expired in June, but Messi believes he can still trigger the clause because of the extension of the 2019-20 season. Therefore, as of now, Man City are not clear if they’ll get to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner for free. British publication The Telegraph has claimed that if Messi is unable to force himself out of Barcelona as a free agent, Man City could end up paying $660 million, which would be the biggest signing in the Premier League history.

Man City are yet to win the coveted Champions League, and Messi’s addition to the side could boost their chances of finally lifting the European trophy. Messi would have two familiar faces at Etihad Stadium that could help him make the big transition – coach Pep Guardiola and compatriot Sergio Aguero. Messi struck a great bond with Guardiola during the latter’s run as Barcelona coach between 2008 and 2012.

According to Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo, Man City have sent across the contract to Messi’s lawyers, who are currently analyzing it. It is a five-year contract, which will see Messi play three seasons in the Premier League. The Argentine forward will spend the final two years of his Man City deal with their MLS partner club, New York FC.

This does not come as a surprise as it was previously reported that Guardiola had a telephonic conversation with Messi, just days after Barcelona's 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. In the same phone call, the Man City boss had offered Messi a project in England, provided the player was ready to leave Spain.

Sports website ESPN has claimed that the four-time Premier League champions could also offer Messi the chance to become an ambassador for the City Football Group, the company that owns several clubs across the world, including Man City and New York FC.

Lionel Messi scored Barcelona's second goal against Napoli on Friday.
Lionel Messi scored Barcelona's second goal against Napoli on Friday. AFP / LLUIS GENE

Messi, who made his first-team debut with Barcelona in 2004, has netted 634 goals for the Catalans. The Spanish giants have won five Champions League titles and Messi was a part of four of them. He has led the club to many more titles, including 10 La Liga trophies.