Manchester City are preparing to offer Barcelona $118 million (€100m) plus three first-team stars for captain Lionel Messi.
The players in question are defender Eric Garcia, midfielder Bernardo Silva and Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, according to Didac Peyret at Sport. Manchester City do not want to spend more than $118m, for Financial Fair Play reasons, but are willing to include players in any deal.
Messi is hoping to use a clause in his contract to walk away for free, but Barcelona believe the clause has expired. The Argentine’s buyout clause of €700m is out of City’s reach, but the two clubs could potentially negotiate a fee if it is decided Messi can not terminate his contract early.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Barcelona Keen on Garcia and Bernardo
Barcelona have already been exploring the possibility of bringing Garcia back to the club. The center-back came through their famous youth academy and appears keen to return to the Camp Nou.
Manager Pep Guardiola has already admitted the 19-year-old does not want to extend his contract at Manchester City, which expires next year, and “wants to play in another place.”
Barcelona are in need of fresh blood in defense and a move for Garcia would make sense given his history with the club. The youngster could potentially take over from 33-year-old Gerard Pique in the heart of the defense.
Bernardo is another player who has been regularly linked with a move to the Catalan giants. Yet midfield is a position where Barcelona are already oversubscribed. The club are expected to try and move some of their ageing midfield stars on this summer but will still have players such as Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Miralem Pjanic, Carles Alena, and Riqui Puig available for next season.
Jesus to Replace Suarez
Barcelona are also in need of a replacement for Luis Suarez in attack. The forward has been informed by new manager Ronald Koeman that he is no longer needed and is expected to leave shortly.
According to Peyret, Barcelona are not convinced by Jesus who is very much back-up to first-choice striker Sergio Aguero at Manchester City. Yet the 23-year-old still boasts a fine scoring record, netting 23 goals in all competitions in 2019-20.
Barcelona’s priority in attack still appears to be Inter’s Lautaro Martinez, although it is still not clear if they will be able to agree a deal with the Serie A side for the 23-year-old this summer.
READ NEXT: Bartomeu Willing to Resign to Keep Lionel Messi at Barcelona