Chelsea have made direct contact with the father of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to suggest the option of his son moving to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Jorge Messi, who has played an instrumental role in the career of the world-class Argentina captain, has received contact from executives at Stamford Bridge, according to Spanish station Rac 1.
This is the latest development in what is fast becoming a dramatic and potentially pivotal week at the Camp Nou. Barcelona sacked director of football Andoni Zubizarreta a day after the team’s 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad on Sunday, while Carles Puyol quit his role as Barca’s assistant director of football hours later.
Rumours have since intensified linking Messi with a shock exit from the Camp Nou. The four-time Ballon d’Or winner, meanwhile, added further fuel to the fire by following Chelsea - plus Thibaut Courtois and Filipe Luis - on the photo-sharing app Instagram.
Keen to take advantage of the situation, Chelsea have contacted Messi’s father in an attempt to ascertain the player’s current state of mind, plus the relationship with his current employers and manager Luis Enrique.
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It’s been widely reported in the past few days that the relationship between Messi and Enrique is in serious danger of reaching breaking point - and that the latter could be sacked if he fails to lead Barcelona to victories over Elche and Atletico Madrid over the next five days.
But for the time being he remains in charge of the Catalan giants, who currently sit a point behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid at the halfway point in the 2014-15 campaign.
Messi's friendship with Fabregas
This time last year it would have seemed inconceivable that Messi would ever play under the management of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho - and, indeed, that he would even consider leaving his beloved Barcelona.
But Cesc Fabregas is one of Messi’s closest friends in football - their partners are also friends - and this could give Chelsea an advantage in the race to secure the 27-year-old’s signature should he decide to cut his ties with his current club.
Fabregas has been one of the Premier League’s standout performers since making the tough decision to leave Barcelona in the summer, while another of Messi’s former teammates, Alexis Sanchez, has worked wonders with Arsenal.