Manchester City will be in a position to sign Lionel Messi if the opportunity presents itself next season, the Premier League club’s chief operating officer said.

City was the frontrunner to land Messi’s services after the 33-year-old Argentine handed Barcelona an official notice in August of his desire to terminate his contract.

‘He’s the best player in the world, he’s the best player of his generation. I think any club in the world would like to explore the possibility of him joining their team.’

However, the six-times world player of the year eventually decided to stay in Spain for the coming season, the last on his current deal, as he did not want to face a legal battle with the club he joined as a teenager and with whom he has amassed more than 30 major trophies.

“He’s the best player in the world, he’s the best player of his generation. I think any club in the…

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