Manchester City's operating officer has said that the club has the financial strength to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona next summer if he wishes to leave next summer.

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Manchester City's chief operating officer, Omar Berrada, has said that the club has the financial strength to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona next summer if the player would be willing to making a move.

Messi caused a massive uproar by the end of the 2019/20 season, saying that he wishes to leave his boyhood club on a free transfer, and several media reports claimed that he is looking forward to reuniting with his former boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. All that, however, was put to rest as the Catalan club rejected his request by saying that he that the only way to take Messi away is to pay his €700m release clause.

The Argentine forward, this year, has continued to bang in goal, scoring three times in five appearances across La Liga and Copa del Rey, but there are possibilities that he might leave the club he joined as a teenager from his native Argentina. Pouncing on the opportunity, City's chief operating officer has said that they will try getting him in next summer as the club has the financial prowess to do so.

"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'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."

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid striker, Luis Suarez, recently said that Messi might consider staying at Barcelona if there is a change at the board level.

"Maybe there's the possibility of him playing for another club, but if he feels comfortable and happy, and a new board come in, he will want to stay at the club," Atletico Madrid striker Suarez told ESPN television's 90 Minutes.

"As a friend I will be happy if things go well for him (at Barca), but also if he goes to another club."

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Lluis Gene