According to the Manchester Evening News, the club's chief operating officer Omar Berrada has confirmed that the club have the funds available to sign Messi.
It was expected that the legendary Argentine international would finish his career at the Nou Camp, but that has been thrown into doubt by last night’s announcement.
Man City and Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be the only other clubs with the necessary resources and ambition to entice Messi.
The 34-year-old achieved great success during his four seasons under Pep Guardiola, winning three league titles and the Copa del Rey and the Champions League twice.
Several key backroom staff at the Etihad, including director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive officer Ferran Soriano, have also worked with Messi before.
Where he would fit into Man City’s plans remains to be seen after a British record £100million move for Jack Grealish was completed and with negotiations for Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane ongoing.
A statement published on Barcelona’s website explained that although a deal had been agreed with Messi, La Liga regulations prevented it from being signed.
“Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles.
“Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.
“Barca would like to thank with all its heart the player's contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”
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