The Eastlands club have already missed out on one big-name signing when Kaka turned down an offer six weeks ago, but the Middle East owners now look set for another recruitment drive.
Mark Hughes, Manchester City's increasingly under-fire manager, has already landed Shay Given, Wayne Bridge and Craig Bellamy this year in a bid to bring success to the club, while reports today suggested that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is also a summer target.
City owner Sulaiman Al Fahim, a fan of Argentine football, told the Sun: 'I've never worked with Maradona and I am not sure if he will be a good coach for Argentina.
'But I want to work with Messi soon, because he makes me love Argentina again.'
Meanwhile, Messi struck late to help Barcelona seal a place in the King's Cup final on Wednesday, a 1-1 draw at Real Mallorca completing a 3-1 aggregate victory for the Primera Liga leaders.
Barcelona will play Athletic Bilbao in the May 13 final in Valencia after the Basque club beat Sevilla 3-0 at home to overturn a 2-1 defeat from last month's first leg.