06/05/2014 07:33 BST | Updated 06/05/2014 07:59 BST

Lionel Messi Transfer To Manchester City? (Gossip)

Manchester City are prepared to spend £164 million to lure Lionel Messi from Barcelona this summer, according to reports.

Despite a relatively subdued season destined to end trophyless, Messi has still scored 41 goals for Barcelona but is believed to be stalling over an extension to his current contract.

lionel messi manchester city

Messi scored against City in the Champions League twice this season

Messi's deal with Barça expires in 2018, and the four-time Ballon d'Or winner - who turns 27 next month - has been lined up to become the world's most expensive player by Premier League champions-elect City, say the Express.

Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, chief executive and director of football at City, know Messi from their Barcelona days and have reportedly pencilled in Pep Guardiola to take over the club in 2016, when his deal with Bayern Munich expires.

The financial fair play restrictions could, however, curb City's spending in the transfer market.

Photo galleryMessi in England See Gallery