Yes Barcelona fans, this is really happening.
Lionel Messi, the greatest player in your club’s history, is actually leaving.
Honestly, who thought this would ever really happen?
We all know about Barcelona’s financial woes, but we all just thought they’d scrape together a few million a week from behind the sofa to give to Messi…right?
Well, wrong. It turns out all that was tucked behind the sofa was 15 cent and a few peseta – which are useless now. So, with that in mind – you know, Messi leaving and all that – we decided to rank where he could go next. Because, amazingly, he is actually going.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the same team in real life and not just in FIFA Ultimate Team?
Well, it’d be nice, but don’t count on it happening.
As it stands Juventus can barely afford Ronaldo’s enormous contract, so we doubt they’ll be able to fork out for a Messi contract which would – at the very least – match CR7’s €32m a year (AFTER TAX) salary.
Juventus can’t afford Messi, so we wouldn’t hold out hope that Newell’s Old Boys can either.
Even if it would be a nice story as that’s where the 34-year-old started out.
Look, had the news that Manchester City will not be in the running for Messi’s signature not just broke, then they’d probably be top of this list.
But, you know, it did, so this move isn’t happening either.
Slightly more likely than the last two though because Man City like to pretend they have no money when they very definitely do.
Manchester United have shown that they’re willing to spend some money this summer, as their moves for Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho attest.
However, footballing wise Messi to Man Utd doesn’t really make sense right now.
He’d make them a better team, obviously, but the Red Devils have other areas of their squad that badly need to be addressed before they can warrant going all out for Messi – namely defensive midfield.
Chelsea making a big splash in the transfer market isn’t exactly uncommon – they’ve done it three times a year for nearly 20 years.
At the moment it seems more likely that they’ll go all out to sign Erling Haaland instead of Messi, but we wouldn’t rule out Roman Abramovich signing both.
He’s certainly not adverse to splashing the cash; after all, he did by ‘The Scream’ painting for £95m last summer…oh and Timo Werner and Kai Havertz for a lot too.
When everything seemed rosy just two short months ago, it was actually rumoured that Messi’s new contract (which he never signed as it goes) was to include a clause that would let him sign for Inter Miami in 2023.
That, combined with how much Messi seemed to love the craic in America over the summer, is therefore enough to get many people talking about the Argentine moving across the pond.
The only drawbacks to this move would be:
a) He’s too good to play in MLS.
b) If he goes to Inter Miami he’ll be managed by Phil Neville.
c) His games will be on at 3am and we won’t be able to watch them.
It’s going to be PSG.
Of course it is.
The club have an endless supply of cash, they are hellbent on winning the Champions League, they have assembled a brilliant squad, and they have Neymar who Messi, by all accounts, really likes.
This is the only move that would make both financial and sporting sense.