Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona? Man City 'crunching numbers' for Argentine maestro

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Aug 25, 2020, 02:29 PM(IST)

La Liga: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), 50 goals, 2011/12 Photograph:( AFP )

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While Koeman has said he would like to keep the Argentine maestro in the club, latest reports suggest that English club Manchester City are ‘crunching numbers’ to see the possibility of bringing Messi to the Etihad Stadium. Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel also welcomed the idea of signing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. 

After Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarter-final of UEFA Champions League 2019-20, the impossible looked reality. Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona after this shambolic performance by the Spanish giants? Since then, Barcelona have appointed a new head coach in Ronald Koeman, a club legend as a player but media reports have hinted that Messi is done with his time in Barca. 

While Koeman has said he would like to keep the Argentine maestro in the club, latest reports suggest that English club Manchester City are ‘crunching numbers’ to see the possibility of bringing Messi to the Etihad Stadium. Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel also welcomed the idea of signing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. 

With Man City escaping a ban after winning their FFP case against UEFA in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the English club would be really careful about their financial spending and hence, are looking at the numbers closely so that they don’t find themselves in trouble, should the dream transfer go ahead. 

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Furthermore, Pep Guardiola, who nurtured Messi to become the best in the world in Barcelona, has the opportunity to work with the little magician once again after their splendid success with the Catalan club in the past. However, a EUR 700 millon release clause makes thing pretty difficult not only for Man City but other clubs who aspire to sign Messi. While Messi is 33-year-old now with only a year left on his contract, Barcelona, in all probability, will play a hard ball. 

Interestingly, Koeman is also believed to have had a chat with Guardiola over the Messi saga. 

“I am very close with Pep Guardiola and I am still in contact with him now. Pep told me that Messi wants to win, he wants to win everything. And if he doesn’t win, he can get very annoyed. I am looking so much forward to work with him. I have to make sure that Messi will be able to function well in this team, and that he feels important. He is the captain of this club!”

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“He has to finish his career here. Messi is Barcelona and Barcelona is Messi”, Koeman added. “Of course he is disappointed, I would be too if I lost 8-2. If he wouldn’t be in this emotional state, then it would be worrying.”

It remains to be seen if Messi leaves Barcelona in the ongoing summer transfer window or not.
 

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