Manchester City has diminished rumours about letting go of their first-team regulars Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, and Gabriel Jesus in an exchange deal with FC Barcelona for Lionel Messi this summer.

Instead, it is speculated that two players, in the form of Eric Garcia and Angelino, might end up at Barcelona before the transfer window closes on October 5. Although the Premier League side has yet to reveal their plans, they seem anxious to end the speculations regarding the departure of Bernardo, Mahrez, and Jesus.

All three players remain an indispensable part of Guardiola's lineup and are expected to stay in Manchester next season, as City aims to reclaim the Premier League title. They ended up being runners-up earlier this year after Liverpool lifted their first league title in 30 years. Before 2019-20, the Sky Blues had won the title for two successive seasons.

On the other hand, the Spanish pair of Angelino and Garcia are regarded as distinct cases. According to BBC, Garcia has only one-year left on his contract with City. Also, sources reveal that the 19-year-old has refused to sign an extension at the Etihad amid speculations about his return to Barca. And as far as Angelino is concerned, the Catalans have reportedly expressed their interest in the 23-year-old full-back.

Last season, Angelino showed an impressive performance after he went to RB Leipzig on a loan spell. RB Leipzig ended their UEFA Champions League campaign as semi-finalists.

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus Photo: AFP / Oli SCARFF

City has yet to comment on the stories regarding their interest in Messi. There are some legal complexities associated with the Argentine's transfer. According to a clause in his contract, Messi can leave Barca at the end of any season for free, but the deadline for the free transfer was initially decided to be June 10.

This year, the novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the football season. As a result, the regular season ended much later than usual. Now, it remains to be seen whether Messi's free transfer clause still stays valid. If the free transfer scheme doesn't apply, the six-time Ballon d'Or winning forward will be bound by his £628 million buy-out clause.

The 33-year old Argentine has recently told Barcelona that he wants to leave. And since then, everyone has been talking about the next possible destination for the talisman.

One of the major clubs that have been linked with Messi is Manchester City. It is said that Messi himself has spoken to Pep Guardiola about a probable transfer. Previously, Messi had spent his career's finest phase with the Spaniard at Camp Nou. But, as of now, the Sky Blues are avoiding any public comment about the deal in speculation that could potentially become one of the biggest in global football history.