Any deal to take Lionel Messi to Manchester City would reportedly cost the Premier League club £500m, making it the biggest transfer in football history.
One option City are weighing up is to offer Messi a three-year deal at the Etihad Stadium, which would take him beyond the age of 36, and to then include a clause which would see him join sister club New York City FC in MLS.
The Telegraph reports that such a deal could set Man City back half a billion pounds, though, with the bulk of that being spent on Messi's wages.
The 33-year-old is understood to earn a base salary of around £90m per year which could rise to as much as £110m per year with added bonuses and clauses, valuing a three-year contract at up to £330m.
Barcelona are also reportedly holding out for a world-record bid before they consider accepting an offer for their greatest ever player, which would mean spending at least £200m more to bring him to the Etihad Stadium.
Messi's release clause in his current Barcelona contract stands at €700m (£626.7m), but he is arguing that a clause which would allow him to leave for free should have been extended in line with the prolonged season due to coronavirus.