Chelsea and the other three possible next destinations for Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona announce Messi departure
A bombshell was dropped on football this evening as Barcelona announced that “financial and structural obstacles” have prevented them from agreeing a new deal with Lionel Messi.
LATEST NEWS | Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
After sixteen years, during which time Messi won 6 ballon d’ors and scored over 600 goals, Messi and Barcelona have parted ways.
With a rumoured wage demand of 500,000 pounds per week, there are only a few clubs that could afford to sign Lionel Messi, so where will he go?
Paris Saint Germain
The most obvious choice for the Argentine is Paris Saint Germain, who are renowned for splashing high transfer fees and wages on their players. With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe already at the club, Messi joining the duo would make their attack the most fearsome in the world.
With Sergio Ramos already joining the ranks of Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a free transfer, could the Parisians strengthen further in the form of the Barcelona wizard. If they bring the Argentine in, would PSG finally be able to achieve their ultimate goal of winning the Champions League?
Another club currently flush with cash is Chelsea. The west London club do not need Lionel Messi per se, but when the option of the worlds best talent presents itself, Chelsea have a history of taking action. Thiago Silva joined on a free transfer last summer, and Messi could well be the next man through the door.
The potential incoming signing of Romelu Lukaku could make the signing more difficult, but would Abramovic be able to turn down the opportunity to see the best player in the world at Stamford Bridge?
Could a fairytale reunion between Messi and Pep Guardiola be back on the cards? Manchester City have previously been linked with Lionel Messi, but have since completed a deal for Jack Grealish to add to their firepower.
BREAKING: Jack Grealish has completed a medical at Manchester City ahead of his proposed £100m transfer from Aston Villa.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 5, 2021
However, the Citizens are on the hunt for a striker, and Lionel Messi’s abilities, combined with Pep Guardiola’s frequent use of a formation featuring a false 9 could just make a deal viable.
Of course, this then raises the question; where would Harry Kane’s future lie?
The final option is that Messi remains at Barcelona. According to their official statement, the two had “reached an agreement between Barca and Leo Messi…with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today”.
However, they quickly pointed the finger of blame at La Liga, saying that:
“It will not be possible to formalise due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish La Liga regulations)”.
Reading between the lines, therefore, it seems as though Barcelona are trying to force La Liga’s hand, in order to allow Lionel Messi to stay by relaxing their regulations. With the attraction that Messi brings to the league, they could just be persuaded.
However, it seems like a longshot.
The two Premier League clubs Sergio Ramos rejected before joining PSG
Official: Lionel Messi will not continue with Barcelona.