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Manchester City boosted in bid to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi

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Manchester City have stepped up their interest in trying to swoop for Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, according to reports.

The 29-year-old's contract at the Camp Nou has just 16 months left to run and there continues to be uncertainty over his future in Catalonia.

According to The Mirror, Barca are hamstrung over how much money they can offer the Argentine due to La Liga's salary restrictions, while the 4-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in midweek is also said to have given the player doubts over his stay at the club.

As a result, the report suggests that Man City may build on existing plans to make a £100m for Messi and reunite him with Pep Guardiola as the Spanish giants consider cutting their losses.

Messi, an eight-time La Liga champion, has scored 480 goals in just 555 appearances for Barca, as well as notching 57 times in 116 international caps for Argentina.