Manchester City were serious about buying Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi this summer. The Mail on Sunday says City would have gone as far as paying Messi's buy out clause from Barcelona of £200million.

With the addition of crowd funding with sponsors the deal had been a matter of negotiation for months with City's hierarchy and several agents.

But Messi recently signed a new contract with Barca worth £16.3million a year.

The Argentine, who is the central figure of the World Cup final, is satisfied with how he has been looked after by Barca.

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