Manchester City are prepared to offer Barcelona a pick of five players in return for Lionel Messi if 33-year-old is unable to leave the Nou Camp for free, reports say.
The Argentina international feels he can leave Barcelona for free but the club are adamant that’s not the case, and that potential suitors will have to spend big money on prising him away from Catalonia.
According to Mundo Deportivo, if the Barcelona star is unable to depart for zero cost, Manchester City have five players they may offer in return.
One of them is Eric Garcia, who was previously a product of the Barcelona youth academy.
The Spaniard would like to return to the Nou Camp and Barca want him back, too, knowing Gerard Pique is approaching the twilight years of his career.
City could use the defender as bait to land the Argentina international, while four attacking players may also be used to persuade Barca into letting Messi leave.
Gabriel Jesus may be cut loose, with the Brazil international never realising his full potential over at the Etihad Stadium – instead spending the bulk of his City career stuck in Sergio Aguero’s shadow.
Bernardo Silva and Riyad Marrez could also be offered to Barcelona, despite both players being vital for Guardiola during his time in charge.
And the fifth who City may propose is Angelino, who recently sparkled during a loan spell at RB Leipzig having struggled throughout the first half of the campaign.
Who the La Liga giants would pick out of the five remains to be seen.
But City are desperate to sign the six-time-Ballon d’Or winner and the prospect of a reunion with Pep Guardiola over in the Premier League hugely appeals to Messi as he prepares for a new adventure.