While both Lionel Messi and his father have played down speculation linking him with a move away from the club in recent times, they have agreed that they would be open to considering a change of scenery should Barcelona choose to accept a big money offer for their prized asset.
However, according to the Daily Express, reports in Spain have suggested that there are only four clubs that are capable of landing the Argentine star, who many consider to be the world’s best. The four clubs are singled out due to the fact that they have the financial backing to convince Barcelona to sell, to offer Messi a lucrative contract and to win trophies.
Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City, who are bank-rolled by Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour respectively, would be considered. This will be a huge blow to both Arsenal and Manchester United, who would also be interested in luring him to the Premier League.
Messi would also consider offers from French champions Paris Saint-Germain and Italian giants Inter Milan, who were recently taken over by a wealthy businessman, who would reportedly be willing to stump up the pricey fees needed to land the Barcelona ace.
Messi’s current contract has a £200 million release clause, and Barcelona are unlikely to accept anything less for their talisman forward. This, on top of his extortionate pay-packet, would make a move extremely difficult, with the purchasing club likely to face Financial Fair Play sanctions as a result, but the promise of having a player of Messi’s calibre in the squad will no doubt outweigh the risks.
While he would be open to listening to Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG or Inter Milan’s offers, should Barcelona wish to sell, he has stated many times in the past that he wants to see out his career at the Nou Camp.
Messi is considered by many to be the current best in the world, if not the best of all time. He has been at Barcelona since joining as a youth player in 2000, eventually working his way up into the Barcelona senior team by the age of 17.
Barcelona are unlikely to let their star man go, and it is unlikely that he will want to leave any time soon, but if any clubs wish to test Barcelona’s resolve, Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG or Inter Milan have more of a chance.