According to Record Sport Lionel Messi has agreed on financial terms worth €700million (currently £623m) for the course of five years in the service of City Football Group (CFG), the Premier League club's holding company.
The Argentine star has also been offered an equity stake in City Football Group as part of the deal with the talisman expected to spend three years in Manchester before moving to MLS side New York City FC.
FC Barcelona have begun their training under new coach Ronald Koeman but as expected, star striker Lionel Messi was missing.
The Argentinian did not return along with the rest of his teammates for the start of pre-season training on Monday, after he refused to take a PCR test for COVID-19 on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency. Messi's decision is another step in his plan to leave the club where he has spent the last 20 years, with the striker and his advisors taking the stance that his contract with Barcelona allows him to leave the Camp Nou on a free transfer this summer.
This opinion is not shared by Barcelona or the Spanish Football League (LaLiga). In a statement on Sunday, LaLiga supported Barcelona, saying that anyone who wants to buy Messi will have to pay his 700-million-euro release clause. LaLiga is not a disinterested party in this affair, given that the Argentinian is its biggest star and the league has already lost Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years.
(With inputs from IANS)