Lionel Messi has contacted Manchester City and has made a move to the Premier League his No 1 choice, claim reports in Spain.
Messi has reportedly dropped a massive bombshell by informing Barcelona he wants to leave this summer.
Widespread reports on Tuesday evening claimed Messi sent a fax to the LaLiga giants on Tuesday asking to have his contract terminated.
Messi came through the ranks at the Nou Camp having joined the famed La Masia academy. He has won 33 major trophies and a record six Ballon d’Or titles.
Reports claim the Argentina international, 33, had a clause in his contract which, if activated, would allow him to walk away from the club for free.
However, that clause expired at the end of May. But due to the extended season, Messi’s team believe that should be extended to the end of August. A bitter legal battle is set to ensue. Messi’s current exit clause sits at €700m.
Now, according to Esporte Interativo, Messi is desperate to reunite with Pep Guardiola. It’s claimed Messi was the happiest in his career when he played under the City boss and now wants a reunion at the Etihad.
As such, City have been placed at favourites to sign the player at 2/1.
PSG are also in the mix at 8/1, while Manchester United are placed at 12/1. Chelsea are 14/1, while Leeds, managed by another of Messi’s mentors Marcelo Bielsa, are 20/1.
It’s also worth noting that it’s still even money he stays at the Nou Camp, despite all the current situation.
🤔 Where will Lionel Messi end up in this transfer window?
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) August 25, 2020
However, the paper claims City may not find a deal easy to structure. The player is likely to require around £600,000 a week in wages; a complicated issue given City’s recent run-in over FFP.
City were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, but will be wary of running the risk again.
It also remains to be seen whether Barcelona will sanction his exit request. Reports state that some of the LaLiga giants’ board are willing to sanction his sale if the money is reinvested in the first team.
Man Utd make Messi moves
City, of course, are not alone in the hunt for Messi.
As per Deportivo Cuatro, United are ahead of City in the chase. The Spanish outlet claims officials from United have put the machinery in motion’ to bring the 33-year-old to Old Trafford.
In the report, translated by Sport Witness, they claim United are best placed to sign the Argentine superstar and are ready to pounce if Barca sanction his sale.
Either way, the news will come as a huge blow to Ronald Koeman. The recently-appointed Dutchman faces a huge rebuilding job at Barcelona.