Man City plan to beat Man Utd to Lionel Messi transfer with inclusion of surprise clause

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Manchester City are preparing to offer Manchester United target Lionel Messi a three-year contract.

Manchester City have drawn up a plan to beat Manchester United to the signing of Lionel Messi as they want to offer the Barcelona star a three-year contract which includes a clause that he can join their sister club New York City in the MLS in 2023.

Messi told Barcelona that he wants to leave this summer in a fax sent to the board yesterday.

Reports in Spain suggest that United are among the teams to have reached out to the Argentine’s representatives.

Ed Woodward has been working on a deal to sign Jason Sancho but is now looking for alternatives because Borussia Dortmund stood firm on their £108million valuation.

Messi could be the ideal candidate to fill the void on the right flank at Old Trafford.

However, ESPN claim City are moving forward with their plans to tempt Messi to the Premier League.

The 33-year-old played under current Blues boss Pep Guardiola as Barcelona dominated European football between 2008 and 2012.

The pair have apparently been in contact with one another for many weeks about the possibility of linking up again at the Etihad Stadium.

Just last week Guardiola called Messi to explain his project and how they could together win the Champions League, according to ESPN.

Plans have been drawn up to offer Messi a three-year contract which would then allow him to finish his career in the MLS.

ESPN add that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would also be offered the opportunity to become an ambassador for the City Football Group, which owns a number of clubs across the world.

Before Messi can decide on his next club he must iron out some major issues with Barcelona.

The forward had a clause in his contract which allows him to leave for free if he notified the club before June 10.

That deadline has since passed but the player feels he should still be allowed to walk away without a transfer fee.

Barcelona are adamants that they will not sell Messi for less than his £630m release clause.

Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes insists his side will fight to keep hold of Messi.

“As we have said many times, we’re still thinking of Messi as a Barca player,” Planes said.

“Barca have rebuilt themselves many times throughout history and have always bounced back stronger. Our idea is to rebuild around the best player in the world.”

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