Having watched Neymar make his big move, Lionel Messi might just do something more seismic.
The FC Barcelona superstar is considering leaving the team because he’s unhappy with its overall talent level, The Daily Record’s Duncan Castles reported Monday, citing Barcelona sources. Furthermore, Messi’s representatives met with counterparts from Manchester City last week at a Barcelona restaurant to gauge his interest in joining the club.
“(Messi) is seriously considering leaving,” a Barcelona source told Castles. “He is open to a move, but knowing the player it will take him a while to decide”.
Messi’s Barcelona contract expires after this season, and he’d be able to leave as soccer’s most sought-after free agent in July 2018. Barcelona announced last month Messi had agreed to a lucrative four-year extension, but FC Barcelona’s sports vice president, Jordi Mestre admitted last week in a press conference Messi still hasn’t signed the deal.
“Everything looks very good,” Mestre said. “I would be surprised that it will not take place.”
Messi, 30, followed Manchester City on Instagram last week, further fueling rumors about an impending switch to the Premier League team, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Marion Poidevin.
Yahoo! Sport France’s Romain Collet-Gaudin reported Monday that Manchester City might be ready to trigger the €300 million (£275 million/$355 million) release clause Messi’s existing contract includes. That fee would break the transfer record Neymar set earlier this month when he joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for €222 million (£197.3 million/$257 million).
The summer transfer window closes at 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 31, so Manchester City has little time remaining to lure one of soccer’s all-time greats to greener pastures.
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