Lionel Messi still wanted by Man City on FREE transfer this summer and will 'start talks over deal next month'

MANCHESTER CITY still hope to sign Lionel Messi at the end of the season, according to reports.

Pep Guardiola's side were front-runners for the Argentine's signature last summer when it became apparent that he wanted to leave.

But after the 33-year-old was made to stay in Catalonia, City's interest went quiet.

Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, have made far more noise about their own pursuit, with sporting director Leonardo, as well as Mauricio Pochettino, Neymar and Angel Di Maria having bigged up their chances.

According to ESPN, however, City are merely biding their time – and WILL make a play for Messi in 'March or April'.

And their sources believe that their more low-key approach will stand them in better stead to impress Messi.

One told them: "PSG are making a mistake with the strategy they're using.

"Leo doesn't like all that noise in the media and even less the type of comments [which have been made]."

One comment that angered Barca boss Ronald Koeman came from Messi's compatriot Di Maria, when he said: "There’s a big chance (of Messi coming). We have to be calm and let things develop."

Koeman, 57, whose side host PSG in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie next week, bit back: "It’s disrespectful. It’s wrong to say such a thing and only heats up the Champions League game even more.


“It’s not fair. I don’t think it’s respectful towards Barcelona to talk about a player of ours.

“They talk about Leo a lot. He’s a Barcelona player, and we have a tie to play against them.”

City, on the other hand, have adopted a 'less aggressive approach', but have crunched the numbers in order to be able to sign Messi in accordance with FFP rules.

Being in the last six months of his deal, Barca's No10 is already eligible to negotiate with other clubs if he wishes.

But he has insisted that he will not decide on his future until the end of the season, and has shown a willingness to listen to whoever his elected Barcelona's new club president on March 7.

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