Manchester City's pursuit of Lionel Messi is set to continue, and a deal for the Barcelona superstar may have Major League Soccer tied into it as part of a 10-year plan. According to The Times, Ciy have come up with a decade-long plan for Messi if he does join the club next summer. City are expected to aggressively pursue Messi starting in January.
Messi's contract at Barcelona expires next season, which means he is available to negotiate a pre-contract with any club starting on the new year. If that happens, Barcelona would not get a transfer fee for their superstar and club legend..
The report from The Times states that City Football Group has a plan in place that includes a chance to play at NYCFC in MLS, or for Messi to opt to move to other clubs the group owns, including Australia's Melbourne City. He would also have an ambassador role with the club upon retirement. The report is similar to what was reported by Esporte Interativo back in August during the initial pursuit, which included three seasons at Manchester City before moving to MLS.
Messi looked like he would be headed to Manchester City before this season following a rough 2019-20 campaign that saw the club lose 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and fail to win a trophy for the first time in a decade. So far this season, things haven't improved with the club stuck in the middle of the table in La Liga and having lost El Clasico to Real Madrid. Landing Messi obviously would huge for City in their pursuit of Champions League glory, and it continues to feel like the only reasonable destination for him.
Messi was not included in Barca's squad for Tuesday's Champions League match with Dynamo Kiev as he's being rested by coach Ronald Koeman.