There’s a genuine possibility that Lionel Messi may leave Barcelona in the summer.
The Argentine’s frustrations at the club reached boiling point when he took exception to Barca sporting director Eric Abidal questioning some of the players.
Messi took to Instagram to fire back at his former teammate, accusing him of damaging the club’s reputation.
Reports have emerged in the following days questioning Messi’s future at the club.
Due to a special clause in his contract he is able to join any club of his choice on a free transfer in the summer.
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But who would be able to afford him? Of course, any club in the world would want to sign Messi.
Only a few select teams, though, would be able to afford his astronomical wages.
But five clubs have already expressed an interest, according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The clubs named in their report are: Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
There’s a couple of really interesting names on that list.
United have fallen on very hard times in recent years and are looking as if they will miss out on the Champions League once again this season.
There’s no question they will be able to afford his wages, but will Messi really want to play Europa League football? Very doubtful.
Inter are on the up under Antonio Conte but it’s likely they will be unable to afford his wages.
Paris Saint-Germain can definitely afford him, but it’s unlikely that he will be want to play in an uncompetitive league like Ligue 1.
Manchester City would be the most likely destination. They are one of the best teams in the world and can no doubt afford his wages. They’ve been interested in him for some time and could finally get their man.
But the most interesting team on that list is Juventus.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi battled it out in La Liga for a decade playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Just imagine the two playing on the same team. It’s an unbelievable prospect and one that would be welcomed.
However, it’s just not very likely at all that happens.
Ronaldo is already on astronomical wages as it is. Juve would probably have a hard time being able to afford him.
And would the two even want to play in the same team?
Ronaldo and Messi both respect each other as professionals. They’ve both admitted they’ve driven each other on.
But it’s doubtful that they’d want to play together. Both players enjoy being in the limelight and being their club’s star man. It seems likely that they’ll come into conflict on the pitch together.
Both will also try to outdo the other and that could lead to tension on the pitch. We can also envisage the two arguing over who would take set-pieces.
But, despite it being unlikely, what a sight it would be seeing both of them wearing the same colours.