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Lionel Messi could earn £450million over five years if he joins Man City this summer

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Last week, the Barcelona superstar told club officials he wants to leave after a disappointing 2019/20 season ended with an 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

There was a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for free, however, that expired at the end of May.

Messi and his representatives were arguing that it should have been extended to the end of August due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But LaLiga has confirmed his £623million release clause remains active.

Messi cast more doubt on his future when he failed to turn up for Barcelona’s scheduled COVID-19 tests on Sunday.

The 33-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Man City, who are bossed by his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

And Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri claims City are willing to offer Messi serious money, which would see him move to their sister club New York City in 2023.

He said: “BOOM! Manchester City would be ready to pay €500m after taxes to Messi in five years!

“Messi would earn €50m per year and according to paper Sport a staggering €250m bonus after three years moving to New York City in [the] last two years.”

The Telegraph say senior figures at Barcelona expect the Argentina forward, who has scored 634 goals for the Spaniards, to join City this summer.

However, former Leeds and England full-back Danny Mills expects Messi to stay at the Camp Nou.

He told talkSPORT: “It would be amazing to see Messi in the Premier League.

“For those who haven’t been fortunate enough to see Messi live, to watch him, to see him train, to see him in a game, he is just majestic, he is absolutely sublime.

“His movement, the way he goes around the pitch so gracefully.

“He does things that you can’t even think of at times. I still think he’ll be at Barcelona, give it a week, two weeks, [and he will sign] a three-year deal, something like that.

“I think that’s the most likely scenario in all of this>chaosafrica

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