Manuel Pellegrini confirms that Manchester City can afford Lionel Messi
Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that Manchester City can afford a move for Lionel Messi even if the total cost exceeds £480m in a transfer fee, wages and add-ons.
Messi’s future has been the talk of the January transfer window after fuelling speculation that he could leave Barcelona at the end of the season, revealing that he doesn’t know where he will be playing next season.
Pellegrini confirmed that it’s natural for a club like City to be mentioned in the same sentence as Messi, although he did stress that “nothing concrete” is in place regarding a move.
Wilfried Bony completed his £28m move to the Etihad on Wednesday after agreeing personal terms with the club in a confusing transfer saga that was originally announced by the Ivory Coast FA, denied by Swansea City, then confirmed by Manchester City immediately after.
However, Bony’s arrival gives Pellegrini a problem in that he has one too many squad members to register for the Champions League campaign, and this could prompt the departure of Stevan Jovetic.
The Serbain striker is a transfer target for Juventus and seen as a potential replacement for Carlos Tevez, who has 18 months left to run on his contract and will not be extending it.
However, despite having Bony available alongside Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, City are believed to be not interested in selling Jovetic.
Should he catch wind that he will be left out of the Champions League squad though, he could well try and force an exit himself.