Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

The Premier League champions are among those to have seen a move mooted for the Argentine superstar who is running his contract down at Barcelona

Manchester City’s chief operating officer Omar Berrada has steered around questions about the Premier League champions’ reported interest in Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

City are one of few clubs in world football that could match the sporting and financial ambition of Messi, who continues to run his contract down at Camp Nou.

Pep Guardiola is in the market for more firepower, with club-record goalscorer Sergio Aguero leaving Etihad Stadium as a free agent after the Champions League final with Chelsea on Saturday.

What has been said?

Quizzed on the Messi rumours and whether efforts could be made to take him to England, Berrarda told reporters: “We are very much focused on our squad. We are very pleased with the success the team has had this year. 

“We’re looking at areas where we can potentially improve the squad but if you look at the performance of the team and everything they have done this year, it’s not that there is a significant investments that we need to make. 

“Perhaps we will look at the striker position because we have a legend like Sergio Aguero leaving. When the season ends on Saturday evening, we will sit down and look at what we want to do in the transfer window.”

How do City replace Aguero?

Finding a suitable successor to a man with 260 goals is not going to be easy.

Various options are being mooted, from Harry Kane to Erling Haaland, but Berrada says there is no guarantee that big money will be invested in another No 9 as all recruitment options are considered by a side looking to wrap up another treble in 2021.

He added: “Replacing Sergio is a very difficult task if not impossible. 

“If you look at Sergio and his contribution to the team since he’s joined us have been absolutely phenomenal. Arguably, maybe he is the best striker in Premier League history if you look at the number of goals per minutes played.

“He is going to be sorely missed and we wish him the best for the rest of his career. He’s a legend for this club. What he has done, along the likes of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and many others who have been with us for so many years, it’s almost impossible to replace him. 

“Now it’s up to our football director Txiki Begiristain to work with Pep and his coaching staff to bring somebody who can contribute to that striker position specifically. We will see what opportunities are available in the market and whether it makes sense for us as a club to invest in that kind of a player.”

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