Manchester City are willing to offer €750m (£671m) to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi over five seasons, according to Sport.
The Catalan publication says the player would earn €500m before tax during his first three years at the Etihad Stadium, before being sent to New York City for the final two years of his spell with the team, where he would be given a €250m “transfer bonus.”
Structuring a deal in this way would help the Citizens avoid punishment from UEFA under Financial Fairplay regulations, with Messi effectively being employed by the City Group, rather than the club for his time in the United States.
At the moment, these plans are very much in the preliminary stage with Messi still having to resolve a contract dispute with Barcelona.
Both the Catalan club and La Liga insist the 33-year-old is still employed by Barca, but the player himself believes he is a free agent following a clause in his contract. A court battle may be needed to resolve the issue although it is thought that FIFA could offer a preliminary registration for Messi’s move to City ahead of the case being heard.