Manchester City's hopes of landing Lionel Messi have been boosted – by an admission Barecelona cannot continue paying his huge salary.
Messi is out of contract next summer and can talk to clubs from January 1, with City in pole position to land the superstar if he leaves the Nou Camp.
Barca legend Messi tried to leave the club in the summer, but was forced to stay to avoid going through the courts in a legal battle with the club.
But Messi is ready to finally leave at the end of this season, with Barca presidential candidate Emili Rousaud claiming the 32-year-old superstar's £90million salary is unsustainable.
Rousaud said Messi would have to accept a reduced salary if he could be convinced to stay with Barca – a move the 33-year-old is unlikely to agree to.
“In the club’s current situation, Messi’s salary is not sustainable, so we’ll have to reach an agreement with him,” said Rousand.
“We will present an attractive project to him.What matters most here is the sporting project. When Messi said he was leaving, he didn’t mention money.
“He has the highest salary in the world, no-one earns more than him. He doesn’t want to leave because he earns too little.
“He wants to leave because he wants to win trophies. He referred to that recently when he said 'the Champions League is not within our reach'. He wants a team full of talent.”
Messi earns just shy of £2m a week after tax, making him the highest paid footballer on the planet, more than his arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
City could easily afford to meet those salary demands, if they are able to land Messi as a free agent when his contract expires in June, with the Blues working frantically to make the deal happen.
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