It’s very difficult to imagine Lionel Messi playing for any other football club than Barcelona.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is Barça through and through.
He’s been at the club since the age of 13 and has played 724 senior games for the Catalan giants, scoring a remarkable 630 goals in the process.
At Camp Nou, Messi has cemented his status, in the eyes of many football fans, as the greatest player of all time.
And it’s the dream of everyone associated with the club for Messi to spend the rest of his career with his current employers.
However, the fairytale finish that Barcelona fans are desperate to see is now in doubt.
Reports from Spain late on Thursday night revealed that Messi is planning to see out his current contract at Camp Nou before leaving in the summer of 2021.
Cadena SER add that Messi’s message is clear: if Josep Maria Bartomeu continues in his role as Barça president, he will not stay.
The Argentine might have turned 33 last month but he is still invaluable to Barcelona, who will do everything in their power to convince their star man to stay.
But this shock news has led to a wave of speculation over Messi’s future - and, in particular, his potential next destination.
According to Betfair, Juventus are currently the second-favourites to sign the world-class forward, priced at 4/1.
Many football fans on social media have expressed their desire to see Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who turns 36 in February, on the same team before they retire - even if it’s only for a single season.
Let’s check out some of the reaction…
But if Juventus are only second on the list, then who do the bookies suspect are most likely to secure Messi’s signature?
That’s Manchester City, who are priced at 9/4 to become the South American’s next permanent club.
Imagine Messi and Pep Guardiola reuniting at the Etihad. The rest of the Premier League would be in serious trouble.
Now let’s take a look at some of the outsiders.
GIVEMESPORT's Rob Swan says...
Any Argentinian Club (9/2)
Messi has previously said that he would like to end his career at Newell’s Old Boys, but this won’t be happening in 2021.
Inter Milan (5/1)
Inter have been interested in signing Messi on a couple of occasions during his career, but it would be a huge shock if ended up joining the Nerazzurri. Odds of 5/1 seem too short.
PSG could certainly afford Messi’s wages, and just imagine the goals and assists he would get in Ligue 1.
Any MLS Club (14/1)
A move to America? Can’t see it.
Manchester United (20/1)
Keep dreaming, Manchester United fans.
This one’s not happening, either.
Nope. No chance.
Real Madrid (100/1)
Can you imagine. This would be the biggest football story of all time.
Let’s be honest, Accrington Stanley have more chance of signing Messi than Real Madrid.
Man City or Juventus are Messi's most likely next destinations, although it's still extremely difficult to envisage him plying his trade away from Camp Nou.
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