Reports in Spain claim Manuel Pellegrini's side has prepared an eye-watering $255M million 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. Messi has struggled to reach the same heights that saw him score 73 goals two seasons ago and many pundits believe he is stalling on a new contract in the hope that a move to one of Europe's emerging giants materializes. 

Oil-rich Paris St-Germain have also been linked with the talismanic forward, but City believe their former Barcelona duo, Txiki Beguiristain and Ferran Soriano, can convince Messi to link up with fellow countryman Sergio Aguero and set the Premier League alight. 

Barcelona could be tempted to cash in as they attempt to rebuild their ageing squad and replace veterans including Carlos Puyol and Victor Valdes. 

Giving the green light would also allow Brazilian golden boy Neymar to take center stage.

Source: Daily Sabah