Lionel Messi is eyeing up his next move after deciding to leave Barcelona.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner broke the earth-shattering news to the world when he submitted a transfer request by fax on Tuesday evening, threatening to end a stellar 16-year collaboration.
There’s still a small possibility that Barcelona could hang on to their star man, but even if their legal team pulls their finger out, it seems that such a resolution would only last for a year.
Messi vs Barcelona
Messi‘s team seems to believe that a clause in his current contract, which expires in 2021, would allow him to leave this summer on a free transfer, but Barcelona reportedly disagree.
It’s claimed that Messi could only have left for £0.00 before June 10, though the season being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic raises questions about its validity.
Nevertheless, that clearly hasn’t stopped the Messi entourage from exploring their options if he does indeed leave Barcelona this summer and it feels like every club in Europe is chasing after him.
PSG and Man City emerge as frontrunners
But wanting to sign Messi and being able to sign Messi are two different things entirely and something that narrows down the field of European clubs to a very small cohort.
And with money, naturally, playing such a major role in the deal, it should come as no shock that two of the continent’s richest clubs – Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City – are the frontrunners.
The prospect of a Messi-Pep Guardiola reunion seems to put City in pole position, but ESPN are claiming that Angel Di Maria and Neymar are trying to sell the idea of Paris to their close friend.
Messi tells PSG his decision
However, one of the biggest updates to emerge from this week’s Messi news has appeared in French publication L’Equipe on Friday with major permutations for both City and PSG.
That’s because it’s claimed, per a translation from GetFrenchFootballNews, that Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, has made it clear that the Etihad Stadium is their preferred destination.
It’s revealed that PSG Sporting Director Leonardo made a call to Jorge in order to make the club’s interest in signing Messi known, but he was politely told that Lionel has already settled on City.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
Wow, wow, wow – all roads seem to lead to City right now, don’t they?
To be fair, you have to wonder how PSG could possibly have afforded Messi when they already have Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on their books, so their interest could easily have remained merely interest.
And although City similarly have something of a hoodoo in the Champions League, you’d say they have a much better chance of becoming European champions with Messi on board compared to their French rivals.
So, to be fair to Messi, the best decision appears to have been made for Messi with City’s playing style suiting him to a T and Guardiola bound to bring the best out of him in England.
There’s still plenty of legal hurdles for Messi’s team to clear before Guardiola can get too excited, but the Barcelona superstar already has his final answer for the million-dollar question.
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