MX23RW : Monday, September 28 04:04:12| >> :60:1840:1840:

How Manchester City could line up with Lionel Messi

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester City could line up next season if Lionel Messi joins the club.

Manchester City are reportedly attempting to pull off a deal for Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi.

The 33-year-old has informed Barca that he wants to seek pastures new this summer, and City are thought to be the favourites to sign him in the current transfer market.

Messi enjoyed another excellent season at Camp Nou in 2019-20, contributing 31 goals and 26 assists in 44 appearances in all competitions, but it was a disappointing campaign for the Catalan giants.

City, meanwhile, gave up the Premier League title to Liverpool and also struggled to make their mark in the Champions League, losing to Lyon in the quarter-finals of the competition.

A deal to sign Messi would allegedly cost Pep Guardiola's side £500m, but it seems that the Manchester giants are prepared to pay whatever it takes to bring the South American to the club.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how City could line up next term if they pull off a deal, which would certainly go down as one of the most extraordinary transfers of all time.


POSS CITY XI MESSI

City have already improved their defence ahead of next season by signing Nathan Ake from Bournemouth, but the club are also allegedly confident of pulling off a deal for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Senegal international could line up alongside Aymeric Laporte in central defence if he arrives this summer, with Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo likely to feature in the two full-back positions.

Further forward, Kevin De Bruyne is an absolute certainty, while Ilkay Gundogan could join Rodri in the middle of the park, with Guardiola unlikely to be handed the funds to sign a big-money midfielder alongside Messi.

Raheem Sterling, like De Bruyne, is a certainty in the first XI, while Sergio Aguero is still the club's number one striker despite missing the end of the 2019-20 campaign through injury.

Gabriel Jesus managed 23 goals and 14 assists in 53 outings last term, though, and will put huge pressure on Aguero to secure an automatic spot in the final third of the field.

The spot on the right of a front three would then be open for Messi, meaning that Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva would have to accept not being regular starters for the English giants.

Messi is also capable of playing through the middle, but he arguably plays his best football off the right, and it looks the perfect fit for him to line up alongside Sterling and Aguero in attack.

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi pictured in August 2020
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