Manchester City Transfer Talk: Lionel Messi, Kalidou Koulibaly

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It’s time for some huge money, big brand and high profile Manchester City transfer talk, pertaining to superstar winger Lionel Messi and centreback supreme Kalidou Koulibaly. There’s a lot to cover so let’s dive right in.

According to Duncan Castles, of the Daily Record, Messi has reached agreement on “financial terms worth €700 million (currently £623m) over the course of five years in the employ of City Football Group, the Premier League club’s holding company.”

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The agreement stipulates that he would play for Manchester City in the Premier League for three seasons, and then later their sister club in Major League Soccer, New York City FC, for two.

The article goes on to claim that “Messi has been offered an equity stake in CFG as part of his compensation package.”

The Argentine has reportedly been in discussions with City manager Pep Guardiola, and he wants to play for him above anybody else. Messi believes Pep was the mentor who was best able to get the most out of him, and the 33-year-old is looking to replicate that success once again.

In short, it looks like it’s City or bust, but of course this situation is complicated, even more so on the other side.

According to an ESPN report, Jorge Messi, the player’s father and agent, will meet with Barca President Josep Maria Bartomeu tomorrow to discuss his son’s future. It is expected that Jorge Messi will demand Lionel Messi be allowed to leave the club on a free transfer, effective immediately.

Barteau will counter with a proposal that mandates Messi stay until 2023. The ESPN FC article describes the club’s stance as “Messi has a deal until 2021, and he or a prospective buyer must meet his €700 million release clause to allow for a move.”

Messi’s contract is reportedly open to different legal interpretations, and this could come down to whomever has the higher priced and more effective team of lawyers on their side.

The player’s camp claims he has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave at the end of each season for free, while the club argues that contract clause expired in June while global football was on pause due to the coronavirus shutdown.

Elsewhere, and in a much less complicated situation, City are working toward securing the signature of Koulibaly, a stellar and expensive Napoli centre half. According to French Football News, Man City football director Txiki Begiristain is currently in negotiations to sign him, as he “has already agreed personal terms.”

However, no fee has been negotiated, and Napoli have yet to receive a concrete bid.

Manchester United were very interested, but gave up upon hitting the 80 million GBP mark, or the amount they paid Leicester City for Harry Maguire. Paris Saint-Germain were also keen for awhile, but found him to be too expensive for their liking, at least in this economic climate.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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