Premier League club Manchester City haven’t lost hopes on securing the prized signature of Lionel Messi who nearly left his boyhood club FC Barcelona earlier this year in a much publicised transfer saga that ended with him staying back. According to a report, City are preparing a £15m to bring Messi to Etihad Stadium during the January transfer window. Also Read - UEFA Champions League: Lionel Messi Scores as Barcelona Beat Cristiano Ronaldo-Less Juventus 2-0

The deal makes sense from the face that Messi has just one year left on his contract with Barcelona and the Catalans will no longer be able to sell him for a potential astronomical price as the Argentine will be free to leave for any club. Also Read - No Ronaldo-Messi Showdown as Juventus Star Ruled Out of Blockbuster Champions League Clash

Barcelona are reportedly cash-strapped and therefore, may consider accepting the bid rather than seeing Messi leave on a free transfer in a few months time. Also Read - FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu Resigns, Entire Board Steps Down

According to Daily Star, City’s Chief Football Operations Manager Omar Berrada has said the club has the financial resources to sign Messi next season. If the deal comes to fruition, it will see the forward reuniting with City manager Pep Guardiola with whom he enjoyed prolific success during the Spaniard’s time at Camp Nou.

However, City won’t be the only one competing for Messi’s signature. Paris Saint-Germain may also throw their hat in the race with a host of other rich clubs including the likes of Juventus, Manchester United, Chelsea among others.

But this all will depend on whether he choses to not renew his contract with Barcelona but with the prospect of a new president taking charge of the Spanish giants, things may change.

Meanwhile, both Barcelona and defending champions Real Madrid suffered defeats as they resumed their respective La Liga campaigns on Saturday.

Under new manager Ronald Koeman, Barcelona lost to Getafe 1-0 while Real were beaten at home by the newly promoted Cadiz.

“There is no explanation for what we did today,” Real manager Zinedine Zidane was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. “We played a bad match, above all at the start, but it was bad in every way. We weren’t hustling, we had difficulties from start to finish… Our rival deserved to win. If they had scored two or three in the first half it wouldn’t have been a surprise.”