Should City Sign Harry Kane Or Lionel Messi?
It sounds a bit ridiculous on the surface, but it's a decision that Manchester City very well may have to make. With Barcelona and Messi unable to come to an agreement on a new contract due to "economic and structural obstacles" the Argentine is a free agent.
So which player would make more sense for City to sign?
Kane is the younger of the two options, and more directly fills the club's need to add an out and out striker. He's also going to cost somewhere north of £100 million.
That is of course if Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is willing to do business with City at all. If reports are to be believed, Levy is not willing to even entertain the idea of selling Kane to another Premier League club.
His stance could soften if City make a considerable improvement on their initial £100 million bid.
Kane is coming off the best statistical season of his career. The Spurs' no. 9 registered 27 goals and 14 assists in 35 Premier League games.
His age and prior injury record could give City some pause however. Spurs reportedly want a transfer fee somewhere in the region of £150 million to start negotiations. Paying such an eye watering fee for a player who just turned 28, and has suffered a litany of lower body injuries, presents a tremendous risk to City.
On the other hand, City would not be required to pay a transfer fee to acquire Messi due his status as a free agent. His wages would surely be astronomical, but should be doable since the club won't being paying a penny to obtain his signature.
On the surface, signing Messi seems like an easy decision to make. The Argentine is the greatest footballer of all time, and he's coming off of yet another fabulous season. Messi scored 38 goals and provided 14 assists in 47 games across all competitions for Barcelona last campaign.
The main concern with Messi is his advancing age. He turned 34 in June, and does not have any experience playing in the Premier League.
His lack of Premier League experience is a worthwhile concern. Making the jump to the most competitive League in the world is hardly straight forward for any player, let alone one who just celebrated his 34th birthday.
Yet, it may be an overstated issue due to his record against Premier League teams in the Champions League. Messi has scored 26 goals and provided six assists during 34 games against English competition in Europe's most prestigious club tournament.
Playing in the Premier League week in and week out will be a new challenge that Messi would have to adapt to. But his record against the Premier League's best is reason for optimism.
So who makes the most sense for City to sign? Harry Kane or Lionel Messi?