Manchester City is prepared to pay Lionel Messi a staggering €500million [£450million] as part of a five-year plan that would eventually see him join New York City FC.
Messi, 33, sent shockwaves rippling through world football last week when he informed Barcelona chiefs of his desire to leave the club via burofax.
Reports suggest City, who are coached by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola, are leading the race for his signature this summer.
And according to Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri, the Premier League club are willing to spend £450million after taxes to bring Messi to England.
Palmeri posted on Twitter: “BOOM! Manchester City would be ready to pay 500m€ after taxes to Messi in 5 years!
“Messi would earn 50m€ [£45million] per year + according to paper Sport a staggering 250m€ bonus after 3 years moving to New York City in last 2 years”.
As part of their plan to lure him to the club, City will allow Messi to join New York City after three years with Guardiola’s side.
New York City is of course owned by the City Football Group, who took over at the Etihad back in 2008.
Messi will therefore earn £45million annually over five years with both City and New York, which works out as a total of £225million.