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Rico has spent this season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain and is expected to cost less than£8 million.
Xavi and Ronald Koeman are also in contention, but it is the former Tottenham coach who is the early favourite to replace Quique Setien if and when he's shown the door at Camp Nou.
The Argentine has once again been linked with a Camp Nou exit
The 32-year-old may be ready to farewell Camp Nou after seeing his side crushed 8-2 by Bayern Munich on Friday night, with City adamant they are in pole position to land Messi should he decide to move on.
Messi's current buy-out clause is a mammoth£635 million (€701m/$831m) but Barcelona's poor financial state could reportedly see them settle for much less.
Newcastle United are hopefulMatty Longstaff could still re-sign with the club despite becoming a free agent last month.
The 37-year-old is viewed as an ideal back-up option for both clubs as they look strengthen in goal over the off-season.