Manchester City would reportedly be willing to use Eric Garcia and Angelino as make weights in a deal to sign Lionel Messi, if they can't get the Barcelona star on a free.

Messi shocked the football world on Tuesday night as it emerged that he had informed Barcelona that he wants to leave the club in the wake of their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has asked the club's hierarchy to honour a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the club for nothing at the end of the season but it doesn't seem like it will be as simple as that.

The date for the clause to be activated passed in June but Messi's camp believe that it is still valid due to the elongated nature of the season. Barca disagree and will only allow their record goal scorer to leave if his 700 euro million release clause is met. So his future remains uncertain.

City were immediately installed as the favourites to sign Messi following the bombshell announcement and, according to ESPN, they will be willing to make a move even if he isn't available on a free.