Reports in Spain claim Manuel Pellegrini's side have prepared an eye-watering £164million offer as they look to bring one of the planet's best players to the Etihad.

City owner Sheikh Mansour has been keeping tabs on Messi since taking control of the Sky Blues in 2008, and feels the time is right to go after a player some believe to be the greatest of all time.

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner has been in good form for the Catalan giants this season, scoring 40 times in 43 games under Gerardo 'Tata' Martino.

However the Argentinian international has suffered a number of injury setbacks, and has occasionally failed to produce his best in Barcelona's poor La Liga and Champions League campaigns.