Manchester City’s Chief Football Operations Officer Omar Berrada has revealed that last year’s Premier League runners-up have the ‘financial strength’ to make the type of investment required to sign Lionel Messi.
The legendary Argentinian forward came as close to leaving Barcelona as he ever has in the summer, famously sending the club a burofax in the aftermath of the humiliating Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Ultimately Messi opted to stay in Catalonia and see out the remainder of his contract – which expires in June 2021 – after Barcelona insisted that any interested club would have to pay his €700m buyout clause in full. One of Messi’s numerous suitors was Manchester City, who reportedly even offered Barcelona’s number ten a lucrative contract.
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However, with Messi out of contract next summer, City’s Berrada hinted at the possibility of bringing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to the Etihad, telling the 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.
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“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.”