Manchester City are ready to revive their interest in Lionel Messi in the January transfer window, the UK Sun reports.
City had looked to bring in the Barcelona captain this summer, when he tried to force his way out.
But Barca insisted on his eye-watering £625m release clause must be met.
However, City are considering making an offer to sign Messi in the winter market for a fee, rather than wait until he becomes a free agent in June 2021.
It is understood a bid of possibly less than £50m may be enticing enough for the LaLiga giants who are resigned to losing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner in just over seven months’ time as a free agent.
The deal might pull through, as Barca are currently fighting a debt of £440m.
Messi has scored six goals in 10 appearances for the Nou Camp outfit this season, but still holds a frosty relationship with the board and new manager, Ronald Koeman.