LIONEL MESSI could be available for just £88MILLION as he gets set for further talks with his father and agent Jorge over his Barcelona future.
The football world was stunned when the 33-year-old slapped in a transfer request with the Catalans.
Now, The Telegraph is reporting that potential suitors, with Manchester City the favourites, could bag the little magician for just £88m.
Messi's team are using Cristiano Ronaldo's move for the same price from Real Madrid to Juventus in the summer of 2018 as the "benchmark".
They also believe Barca finances being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic means fees cannot be over-inflated.
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Messi’s father Jorge, who is also his agent, flew in for a crisis meeting with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesday.
Talks lasted 90 minutes and the two sides are still poles apart.
The Argentine, 33, wants to join Manchester City and Messi Sr yesterday claimed: “It is difficult for Leo to stay.”
Messi no longer considers himself a Barcelona player after faxing a transfer request last month.
But the Nou Camp club insist he is still under contract and on strike after refusing to train.
A £623million buyout clause in his contract is a huge stumbling block to any move.
He is now locked in dispute with the Spanish giants after claiming that a release clause in his contract allows him to quit for nothing with immediate effect.
Nou Camp officials believe the stipulation expired on June 10, with the Argentine superstar under contract until the summer of 2021.
And LaLiga have backed the Catalan giants, insisting Messi's €700millon (£629m) buy-out clause is still valid.
CITY DEAL DONE?
The fallout from the transfer saga has led to Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu facing calls from fans to step down.
News coming out of Spain on Wednesday night reported that Messi had agreed financial terms on a five-year contract worth a total of €700m (£623m) with Manchester City.
According to Record Sport, the incredible deal would make the Argentina captain the highest-paid individual in the history of the sport.
It equates to £14,200 an hour, £341,000 per day, £2.4m every week and a whopping £10.4m per month.
Messi is set to spend three seasons at the Etihad before joining City Football Group's (CFG) Major League Soccer side New York City FC for two years.
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