Lionel Messi is capable of thriving alongside fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero at Manchester City, says Richard Dunne, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner considered to be a “dream” signing for the Blues.
A switch to the Etihad Stadium for the mercurial South American could soon become a reality.
Messi is said to be pushing for a move away from Barcelona after growing disillusioned with the direction in which the Liga giants are heading on and off the field.
Few could tempt the 33-year-old away from Camp Nou, but City boast the financial muscle and sporting ambition to pursue the very best in the business.
Dunne admits that Messi falls into that category, with it exciting to think that an all-time great could potentially be plying his trade in the Premier League during the 2020-21 campaign.
A move to City would reunite him with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola and international colleague Aguero.
That partnership would be expected to deliver an impressive haul of goals, while long-awaited Champions League glory could also be savoured if the Blues were to land another proven performer in that competition.
Asked about Messi and Aguero at City, former club captain Dunne told Sky Sports: “They can play together, definitely. Messi plays in a deeper role than Aguero would normally, so he add something that little bit more special to Man City.
“In terms of trying to win the Champions League. City have looked like they lack that little bit of experience in winning the competition, and who better to bring in than a person who’s won it four times?
“He will help the club massively if he does come, and fitting him into the side won’t be a problem.
“All the players will be desperate to try and play alongside him, and Pep used him previously at Barcelona by trying to find new formations to get him free, and on the ball, and he’ll try to do the same if he does come to City.
“It would be a dream if he did come here, for all City fans, if he was in a City shirt. It’s a certain possibility now.
“Barcelona have pushed him a couple of times over the last couple of years, where you’ve thought he might want to leave, but this year it seems a bit different. If there was ever an opportunity for him to come here, it seems it’s this summer.”
City have made a habit of pulling off marquee signings since Sheikh Mansour took control of the club in 2008, with Dunne forming part of the set-up when Robinho became the first notable addition to their ranks under a new ownership regime.
The former centre-half added: “It was brilliant. It was a change from one day to the next, when the club became a club with massive expectations, and the first thing we did was we went and signed Robinho, a world star at the time.
“The excitement around the place when he came in… there was an instant desire to try to play alongside players like this, and it will be the same now.
“We’ve got some great players at Man City but when Messi comes in, or if he comes in, those players will want to up their game. They will want to prove they are on the same level and deserve to be playing alongside him.
“It makes a huge difference, even at a big club who have huge superstars already. If you can bring in a player on the next level, it really helps around the place.”