Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is reportedly considering luring Lionel Messi to the Premier League.
Messi, 32, was involved in a row with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal this week after the Frenchman claimed the underperforming squad forced the sacking of Ernesto Valverde.
And with the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner seemingly at odds with the club's hierarchy, fears have arisen that he may opt to exercise the unique clause that allows him to leave the club for free.
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According to Spanish publication, AS, City are closely monitoring the situation at the Camp Nou to see whether Messi would be open to leaving at the end of this season or in 2021.
It's been suggested the Premier League champions would be favourites for his signature because of his strong relationship with director of football Txiki Begiristain, chief executive Ferran Soriano and Guardiola.
Together Messi and Guardiola won the Spanish title three times and the Champions League twice in four seasons at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012.
The Qatari-owned club remains one of only a handful of clubs who could afford Messi's wages of more £50 million a year.