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UNCOVERED: Man City draw up 10-year plan to prise Messi from Barcelona in Jan

Manchester City are ready to push through plans to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi in January.

The Daily Mail says City devised a 10-year strategy to maximise the benefit of landing Messi from Barcelona.

Messi was scuppered in his attempts to secure a move to the Etihad Stadium over the summer after failing to argue that a release clause in his Nou Camp contract had not expired.

City remain interested in signing the Argentine superstar next year and have plans to discuss a decade-long association with City Football Group (CFG).

That would start with a multi-year contract to play for Pep Guardiola, who committed his next two seasons to City last week.

Yet club officials, who believe the influx of fresh commercial revenues would go a long way to financing a mega-money deal, hope a prospective relationship would extend far further.

The option of Messi starring for another CFG team has been floated, with New York City in the United States suggested as an obvious possible destination.

But the idea of the 33-year-old sticking with the group represents significant intrigue and raises the prospect of Messi finishing his career in other far-flung parts of the globe.

City, who own 10 clubs, have roots down in China, India, Japan and Australia. Sources stressed that the idea is fluid and would likely take in some form of ambassadorial role in the future.

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Paul Vegas

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