Manchester City’s Chief Operating Officer believes that the club will be ready to sign Lionel Messi next summer.

City were frontrunners to sign Messi when he told Barcelona at the end of the coronavirus-altered Champions League season that he would be exercising a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave for nothing.

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However Barcelona disputed the clause’s validity, arguing that it could be used only on the dates of the end of a regular season. Messi decided to stay at Barcelona, telling the press that he was not prepared to pursue a legal case against the only club of his professional career.

Messi recently criticised the board of the club when they allowed Luis Suarez to join Atletico Madrid, and while Suarez believes that Messi could still sign an extension to stay on at the club, he is currently free to negotiate a deal with another club in January on a pre-contract arrangement.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening news, Omar Berrada explained his belief.

"He's the best player in the world, he's the best player of his generation. I think any club in the world would like to explore the possibility of him joining their team," he said.

"He's probably an exception to potential investments that we'd do...

"But our planning has been done with this current squad and it is being considered with the current opportunities that we have.

"For every single position we have to be prepared because there can be so many things that can happen but, at the same time, I think we have the financial strength and system ability to make that investment when required."

Barcelona’s board are now subject to a vote of no confidence, but they may choose to step down ahead of any vote.

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