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Exclusive – Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are increasingly confident that Lionel Messi is ready to leave Barcelona in 2021.
The 33-year-old tried to get away from the Camp Nou last summer, with the club in crisis both on and off the pitch. He suffered a very public fight with former president Josep Bartomeu, and his relationship with the club seems to be beyond repair.
Barça still hope to convince Messi to commit the rest of his career to the club, and the appointment of a new president in the new year may see the Argentine stand his ground in Catalonia.
However, the giants of Europe are waiting for the forward to reaffirm his intentions to leave Barcelona, and knowledgeable sources have exclusively reported. 90min that both Manchester City and PSG have ‘sincere faith’ that he will leave La Blaugrana in 2021.
The source said 90min: “Now there is a genuine belief that 2021 will see Lionel Messi advance. We know from the intermediaries that the financial demands have changed and are now considered much more ‘realistic’ and that is why Man City and PSG are taking it seriously.
“Getting Messi now means that you will get a good two or three years out of him, if not more, but if he doesn’t move this year, he won’t have many more opportunities and with Barcelona’s current situation, now could be the perfect time. for all parties “.
While Messi is more interested in the division, it may also be a smart move for Barcelona to allow him to leave. His current salary equates to roughly £ 750,000 a week depending on image rights and bonuses, making him a valuable but expensive asset for the club.
However, Messi is so eager to force a move that he and his father (who is also his agent) have reduced their wage demands to the realm of ‘normalcy’, a compromise that would see him receive means, medium your current earnings.
This reduction would still make him the highest paid player in Man City, and would put him on par with Neymar, the best player in PSG. And it is this willingness to lower their demands that has left the European giants convinced that Messi is now a realistic and achievable goal for the summer.
Citizens and PSG appear to be the only clubs that can afford to pay Messi’s salary, and both have plans to move him away from Barcelona.
Man City’s summer plan involved striking an agreement with parent company City Football Group, which would have allowed the forward to choose his destination annually within the company’s portfolio of clubs.
One of the attractions of this project was that CFG was investigating whether they could invest in an Argentine club, something that would greatly attract Messi to their plans, but current regulations prohibit the possibility of foreign investment. Man City was hopeful that Messi’s presence as a native would help them overcome those strict rules, but the move ultimately did not materialize.
In fact, the team in pole position to land Messi is PSG. The French champion is gradually resigning himself to selling Kylian Mbappé, with Real Madrid being the most likely destination for the French forward. Talks have been held including the possibility of involving Eden Hazard in the deal, although fitting both the Belgian and Messi on the same team could prove problematic.
The owners of Man City and PSG have long dreamed of adding Messi to their star-studded collection and despite his age, landing Argentina remains one of their ambitions, as well as lifting the Champions League.