Does Messi Want Manchester City? The Bookmakers Say So

So, it’s public news that Leo Messi is moving away from Barcelona for real. What initially seemed like pure journalistic speculation is now a genuine concern for the Blaugrana supporters. In other words, we may soon be witnessing the most astonishing transfer in the history of football: Messi to Manchester City.

Messi’s wish to leave Barcelona is now of public domain.  Manchester City, Inter, and PSG all seem willing to give a shot at signing the Argentinian. Barcelona’s chances to keep Lionel Messi are decreasing. Bookmakers rate his stay in Spain at 50-50, holding open the opportunity for Blaugrana, where Messi spent his entire career.

Unfortunately for the Barca supporters, the relationship between La Pulga Atomica and the Catalans was mined by several episodes in the past few years – especially Messi’s frustration at the too many lost trophies and his wish to win again the Champions League. Such frustration seems to have reached a point of no return. The Argentine officially requested the club to activate a release clause that could allow him to leave Barcelona on a free transfer.

While Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu argues that such a contract clause expired in May, Messi’s legal team feels that the deadline should be extended at least to the end of August as the Coronavirus has delayed the end of the season.

On 23 January 2014 Bartomeu was elected, as the fortieth President of Barcelona.

On top of that, Spanish sports newspaper Marca recently reported that Barcelona intends to renounce to the legal services of prestigious law firm Cuatrecasas as they believe their partner, who also represents Messi, has a conflict of interest. In such a scenario, the legal teams of both UEFA and FIFA may ask Messi and Barcelona to resolve the controversy via a Spanish court.

In other words, if Messi cannot leave for free, any club that wishes to sign him should consider activating his €700M release clause – similarly to what happened in Neymar’s case, when the Brazilian player had to pay himself his €200M release clause to be able to join PSG. With this scenario in mind, Barcelona may still try to propose Messi a three years contract, hoping that he would take a step back.

Messi & Agüero won the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup with the Argentina U-20 squad.

Nevertheless, most bookmakers still place Pep Guardiola and Manchester City as the current favorite to sign Messi (odds 5/2). It is logical to think that City may be the best place for Lionel. First of all, Guardiola and Messi already have a robust relationship. They have shared some incredible moments of football, winning two Champions Leagues and two FIFA Club World Cups among other trophies. Secondly, Messi would join his national teammate Aguero – who’s almost a brother to him.

However, and even though some recent rumors state that the Citizens have offered a three-year contract to Messi, we believe they would make any move only if La Pulga would become available as a free agent.

Inter have also publicly shown their interest in signing the Argentine player. The Nerazzurri even went as far as displaying a Messi silhouette on Milan’s Duomo Cathedral to promote a friendly match against Napoli in China. According to former president Massimo Moratti, the club may have already made a move to sign him. However, Inter still seem to be a backup option for Lionel, who may not consider their projects attractive enough. Still, the bookmakers rate his move to Inter below City, 3 to 1.

To present the match the Chinese TV owned by Suning projected the image of Messi on Duomo.

Messi to Inter would be a sensational deal for the Nerazzurri, but the Suning-owned club would need to face an incredibly expensive transfer operation. Still, a move to Italy could be great for Messi’s wallet when it comes to taxation. It would also revamp his “eternal” rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus in summer 2018.

Finally, the bookmakers also see PSG as a suitable landing place for the Argentine. A move under the Eiffel Tower is rated at 7 to 1. At PSG, Messi would find his old friend Neymar and an ambitious project, but we wonder how could the French club afford his salary – as they already have the likes of Neymar, Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria, and Kylian Mbappé on their ledger.

But regardless of all speculations, Messi may have taken a decision already. As reported by French outlet L’Equipe, La Pulga’s father and agent, Jorge Messi informed PSG Sporting Director Leonardo that Lionel has made up his mind: He wants to move to Manchester City.