Respected journalist drops bombshell with claim over Messi Barcelona exit in 2020

Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona immediately, according to the journalist who first revealed Neymar was moving to PSG three years ago.

Barcelona were humiliated in the Champions League this week, suffering an astonishing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.

It’s the third successive season in which Barca have suffered an embarrassing exit from the Champions League, after letting slip leads against Roma and then Liverpool.

Hence, it will surely be a summer of change at Camp Nou. Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu is under pressure, as is manager Quique Setien.

What’s more, a report from Mundo Deportivo suggests that the club only deem five players unsellable. They are goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, midfielder Frenkie De Jong, academy graduates Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig, as well as Messi.

In what would be one of the most high-profile transfers of all-time, though, Barca may actually face a battle to keep Messi.

That’s because Brazilian journalist Marcelo Bechler says Messi wants to leave the club not in 2021, but now. The Argentine legend’s contract expires next summer, but he does not have faith in the direction Barcelona are going in, so wants out.

Bechler has close links with Barcelona, having been the first one to reveal Neymar was leaving them for PSG in 2017.

If the Messi claims are true, it would be an even bigger story.

 

Sunday’s papers claimed that Manchester City believe they are favourites for Messi. A shock move to the Etihad would give Messi the chance to reunite with former Barca coach Pep Guardiola.

However, Mundo Deportivo themselves deny that Messi has told Barca he wants to leave.

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Meanwhile, Inter Milan are also plotting an ambitious bid for the six-time Ballon D’Or winner. Massimiliano Mirabelli, a former director at the Italian club, has revealed that signing Messi is “more than a dream” for their Suning Group owners.

“When I was at Inter, President Zhang would talk about the transfer market and say, ‘I want Messi,’ but we had to explain it wasn’t possible due to Financial Fair Play,” Mirabelli told Radio Sportiva (via Football Italia).

“I can assure you that Messi is more than a dream for Inter. He now has only a year left on his contract and Barca don’t want to risk losing him for free next summer.

“There are important decisions to be made in Spain, but they won’t want to be left empty-handed. Anyone who wants to make the most of the situation should step forward.”