While the transfer window is closed for European clubs, Manchester City are reportedly still open to signing FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.
The Argentine had heavily tipped to reunite with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad this season after informing Barcelona he wants to leave.
However, Messi made a U-turn on his decision last and will play another season with the Catalan giants entering his final year of his contract.
English publication The Athletic have reported that Guardiola and City have not given up on their attempt to sign Barcelona's all-time top scorer next year if he is available for free.
There may be a truth to those claims as the Citizens' chief operating officer, Omar Berrada, they have the funds to support a potential move.
“The fact that it was commented that he wanted to come to play for City just shows you how far the team has come over the last years where the best talent of his generation and potentially saying he wants to come and play for us," he told Manchester Evening News.
“It's hard to guess what could happen. If you think back to those two weeks where everything played out at Barcelona, it's almost impossible to guess what will happen next summer.
“Messi is a generational talent, he's the best player in the world and probably an exception to potential investments that we'd do out of the ordinary but our planning has been done with this current squad and it is being considered with the current opportunities that we have.
“For every single position we have to be prepared because there can be so many things that can happen but at the same time I think we have the financial strength and system ability to make that investment when required.
“That's what puts us in a position where we feel comfortable that we'll be able to take the right decision because it also doesn't mean that we'll have to rush into anything - first because Sergio [Aguero] and Gabriel [Jesus] are performing very well, they are two of the best strikers in the world right now, and when we do decide to bring in potentially someone else, whether it is next season or the one after that then we will be in a financial position to do it for the right price.”
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