Manchester City reportedly still want to sign Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland this summer in what will be a sensational double transfer swoop.
City have long stood as favourites to sign Messi since he shocked the football world last summer and expressed his desire to leave Barcelona, before backing down after being faced with a legal battle over his contract.
Reports in Spain on Wednesday claimed that any move to the Etihad was no longer happening for Messi but according to The Sun, City remain intent on signing the iconic forward along with Haaland once the transfer window reopens at the end of the season.
Man City are reportedly wanting to sign both Lionel Messi (left) and Erling Haaland (right)
City have made no secret of the fact that they are on the search for firepower, after confirming on Monday that all-time leading goalscorer Aguero will move on at the end of the season once his contract expires.
Sportsmail understands the Borussia Dortmund striker Jack Grealish are top of City’s transfer wishlist as Pep Guardiola gears up to freshen his squad.
The pair would be expected to cost close to £200million — a strong display of intent by a club on the verge of sealing a third Premier League title in four seasons.
However, The Sun have gone on to claim that Messi is still on their list of top targets and will look to capitalise on Barcelona’s financial woes in order to sign the costly Argentine.
Messi made clear his intentions to leave Barcelona last summer after a fallout at the club
City were widely expected to bring Messi to the Premier League, after the superstar told Barca last year that he wished to exercise his option to leave for free.
Messi sent the Spanish giants an official burofax outlining that he wanted to bring his time at the Nou Camp to a close, though Barca stood firm and successfully argued that such a deadline for notifying them of this intention had passed.
Messi has knuckled back down this season despite being forced to stay and has got back to his majestic best, currently leading the way in the La Liga goalscoring charts with 23 goals and eight assists from 26 games played.
And despite things now looking rosy again at the Nou Camp, The Sun are reporting that City will still try their luck with reuniting Guardiola and Messi in England.
Guardiola is after a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero, who is leaving this summer
The report goes on to claim that Messi has not ruled out a move to Manchester either and could be set to form a deadly strike partnership with Haaland.
Haaland, 20, has long been Guardiola’s primary target as the team’s next main striker and boasts an enviable scoring return this season, with 39 goals in 38 games for club and country.
The Norway international, whose father Alfie spent three years as a player at City, is set to line up against his suitors in a Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.