City attempted to secure Messi in the summer, but Barcelona would not permit his exit for anything less than his release clause.
The 33-year-old did not fight the Catalan club’s decision.
According to the Daily Star, City will attempt to sign him for a cut price fee in January.
City know that if Messi runs down his contract, he will leave for free in the summer, and Barcelona will get nothing.
If Messi is still adamant about leaving Barca in January, the club may have no choice but to give in to his desire to go to City.
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