Lionel Messi transfers rumours: The latest on potential exit from Barcelona

What does the future hold for Lionel Messi?
Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona? And if so, where will he go? We round up the very latest
Tnews and press rumours on the Argentine’s future.

summer and is “likely” to move to Manchester City, according to presidential candidate Toni Freixa (Goal).
Barcelona believe the only way the Argentina forward can legally leave for free is if he commits to not playing football next season (ESPN).

Lionel Messi will be offered a two-year con- tract by Manchester City if they are able to prise him away from the Nou Camp (Daily Mail).

Monday August 31
Lionel Messi will not train with Barcelona on Monday, with the forward no longer considering himself a Barca player. Messi’s father and representative, Jorge, is expected to meet with the Barcelona hierarchy, including president Josep Maria Bartomeu, on Wednesday to discuss his son’s future.

Lionel Messi is holding firm to his decision to leave Barcelona in the present transfer window and join Manchester City (The Times). Bartomeu’s strategy
is to return to contract discussions with Messi’s father, in a bid to entice the Argentina star to stay – but an agreement currently looks unlikely (AS).

Manchester City are prepared to pay Messi £450m as part of a five-year plan that would see him join City’s sister club New York City FC in Major League Soccer for the final two years. (Sport)

Sunday August 30
Lionel Messi has failed to show up for Barcelona’s pre-season PCR coronavirus testing programme, and will now not join training tomorrow. Executives at Barcelona have been given orders not to even respond to calls from any interested parties in signing Messi (Mundo Deportivo).
Sky Sports News re-porter Gary Cotterill has the latest as Messi fails to report for Barcelona coronavirus testing Barcelona and Manchester City both believe Messi is set for the Premier League, with
the Catalan club eyeing
a compromise worth £250m. With City’s lawyers now examining the clause in Messi’s contract that gives them hope they can sign the Argentine for free, beleaguered Barca bosses hope that the Blues will agree to a players-plus-cash deal rather than take a £630m gamble in court (Sunday Mirror).

Messi’s father Jorge plans to travel to Barcelona from Rosario in Argentina to discuss an amicable exit from the club, while president Josep Bartomeu is only interested in discussing a new contract (Mundo Deportivo).

Senior figures at Barcelona expect Messi to join Manchester City, with the Spanish club preparing for life without their iconic captain by looking at potential replacements, including Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez (Sunday Telegraph).

Barcelona have told Mundo Deportivo there is ‘no clause’ which alters the value of Messi’s €700m release clause (Mundo Deportivo). Messi’s release clause exempts the Argentine from paying the €700m fee if he decides to leave in the final season of his existing contract (El Larguero).

Saturday August 29
Messi has requested a personal meeting with the Barcelona hierarchy to discuss a solution to his transfer request.

Juventus have reportedly approached Messi over a stunning move that would see him join up with Cristiano Ronaldo (Daily Mail). Messi has requested a meeting with Barcelona’s board, the Transfer Show discuss
Messi is reportedly considering not turning up for PCR coronavirus tests at the Barcelona training ground on Sunday after speaking with his legal team (Sport).

Manchester City are unwilling to include regular first team players as makeweights in a bid to sign Messi. Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez have all been mooted as potentially forming part of the nego- tiations (Daily Mail).

City are hopeful Lionel Messi’s friendship with Sergio Aguero could be key to striking deal (Daily Telegraph). Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu will refuse to sell Messi because of his support from the club’s fans, and would not sanction a part-exchange deal with Manchester City. Bartomeu will speak with Messi on Sunday only about the legalities of the clause in his con- tract which previously permitted him to leave the club for free (Mundo Deportivo).

Ronald Koeman has returned to Barcelona after several days in Amsterdam, and will look to act as a mediator between Messi and Bartomeu to resolve the player’s future (Sport). Neymar and Angel Di Maria’s close friendship with Messi could attract him to Paris Saint-Germain – but Manchester City remain frontrunners, ESPN football expert Julien Laurens explains on the Transfer Talk podcast Messi has still not responded to Bartomeu’s offer to resign if he agrees to stay at the club, but
the player is expected to make his thoughts clear ‘very soon’ (Sport). Bartomeu will only sit down with Messi if it is to discuss a new contract, and will only sanction
a transfer if it satisfies
his €700m release clause (Sport).

Friday August 28
Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid Messi leaving Barcelona, including resigning from his position. He has told the player if he says publicly his presidency has been
the reason behind his desire to leave the club, he would quit if it would convince him to stay (Mundo Deportivo).

Manchester City’s plans for Messi are in line
with the player’s – that they can bring him to
the Etihad Stadium on a free – but if not, they are willing to include Eric Garcia, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Angelino and Riyad Mahrez in any transfer offer (Mundo Deportivo). Manchester City are not willing to offer any more than €100m for Messi, but will offer up to three players in exchange – Jesus, Bernardo Silva and Garcia (Sport).

Spanish front pages on Friday August 28 claim the Barcelona president is willing to resign in order to keep Messi at the club Messi will publicly reveal his reasons for wanting to leave Barcelona at the ‘right time’ but is aware he needs to make clear his thought process (Sport). Paris Saint-Germain believe they can re-unite Neymar and Messi by bringing the Argentine to the Ligue 1 champions this summer (Mundo Deportivo).

The Barcelona hierarchy are sceptical Messi will report for pre-sea- son training on Sunday because it would contra- dict the fax he sent to the club earlier this week to announce his intention to leave, which included the line “with effect August 30” (Sport).