Lionel Messi has been offered a new Barcelona contract with a £276million release clause.
The Argentine ace has never been closer to leaving the Nou Camp with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.
It is believed the 30-year-old has yet to put pen to paper on a new contract because he has grown disillusioned with life at the Catalan club.
But a new lucrative contract is on the table for Messi which will extend his contract until the summer of 2021.
Barcelona are in disarray after a nightmare summer in which they sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and failed to land Philippe Coutinho.
Messi’s contract situation has not helped matters with senior figures at the club worried that he will move on at the end of the campaign.
Manchester City have been closely monitoring his contract situation with Pep Guardiola keen to reunite with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
They will be able to sign him on a pre-contract for nothing in January but they could activate his release clause if he signs a new contract.
According to the Mirror, Messi will be available to speak to the mega-rich Premier League side if they stump up £276m.
But City could be reluctant to break the world-record fee for a player who turns 31 on his next birthday.
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu says Messi would be free to leave the club if he really wanted to.
Speaking to Sport, he said: “Barça will never make a player stay if he tells us that he wants to go, as it happens in other clubs in Europe.
”We have a way of being different from other clubs, we think the players are happy here to play and to perform.
“It is the same if the clause is 500, 600, 1,000 or 1,500, we can put the clause we want because if a player wants to leave, we will have to sit down and talk to him to see how we do.
“It is what we miss with Neymar, if he had done so, would have been better for everyone.”