- Barcelona announced Tuesday that star Lionel Messi has expressed his desire to leave the club this summer.
- Manchester City is the leading candidate to land the Argentine superstar on the Messi transfer oddsboard.
- Other teams in the running include Inter Milan (+550), PSG (+900), and Chelsea (+2500).
BARCELONA, Spain – The legend of Lionel Messi could have a new landscape soon.
Surprising news shook the world of soccer Tuesday when FC Barcelona officials announced that Messi sent a document expressing his desire to leave the Spanish club after 19 years.
The 32-year-old Messi is reportedly looking to activate a release clause within his contract that would terminate his current agreement with the team and allow him to leave for free this Summer.
This would be a monumental transfer that naturally has inspired speculation as to which team will land the Argentine superstar.
Messi has been one of the greatest players in the world and has enjoyed an illustrious career with the Catalonian club. Messi joined Barca when he was just 13 years old, making his debut at age 16.
The news comes off of the devastating 8-2 loss that Barcelona suffered in the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Messi was on contract to remain in Barcelona until the end of May 2021, but will now allegedly be released immediately due to triggering this rare contract clause. The clause is question was brought into the light before, but states that Messi can unilaterally leave the club at the end of each season.
The clause was created to combat a large buyout package that would certainly accompany Messi, therefore allowing him to join a club that normally could not afford him.
Legal sports betting apps have already taken advantage of the situation by offering odds on which team Messi will be a part of by the end of the transfer window in October.
Lionel Messi Club After Transfer Window Ending 5th October – Winner
- Barcelona Even
- Manchester City Even
- Inter +550
- Paris SG +900
- Manchester United +2000
- Chelsea +2500
- Any MLS Club +4000
- Juventus +4000
- Newell’s Old Boys +4000
- Any Chinese Super League Club +5000
Taking a look at these options presents some early favorites and some options that are very unlikely.
High-profile players at the end of their runs have made the move to the MLS or Chinese Super League in an attempt to cash in on a few more years of popularity. Messi still has some elite soccer left in him and likely won’t be going to any of these leagues anytime soon.
Newell’s Old Boys was Messi’s very first club in Argentina before he left for Barcelona. While the story would be great, Messi will not be returning to his home country for a least a few more seasons. Any dedicated soccer bettor knows that the rivalry between Messi and Christiano Ronaldo is very real and has dominated the overarching discussion of the sport for over a decade.
The chances that Messi would go to one of CR7’s old clubs in Manchester United is slim, and even more narrow that he would join Cristiano’s side at Juventus.
Chelsea has the pocketbook to afford Messi and would benefit greatly from the striker making his home at the front of their attack. If Messi chose to head to London, he could play out the twilight of his career next to American wunderkind Christian Pulisic. What US Soccer fan wouldn’t want to see that?
Paris Saint-Germain presents an interesting possibility. Despite a brutal loss at the hands of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final, PSG still has a decent shot to land the six-time Ballon d’Or winner due to their deep wallet and league dominance. The biggest roadblock in this deal would be the striker’s former teammate Neymar Jr, who left Barcelona under controversial terms and could still have a complicated relationship with Messi.
In the end, Messi could just be testing the waters for an exit and end up returning to Barcelona, his current club where he built his legacy. While this would be extremely anti-climactic, it still remains a decent possibility.
Messi heading to Inter Milan simply makes too much sense. After years of facing off against Christiano Ronaldo playing for the top two teams in Spain, why not reignite the rivalry in Italy?
Milan has had middling success in recent years but would welcome Messi with jubilation to reinvigorate their attack.
After all of these possibilities, the leading candidate has emerged as Manchester City. Whenever a star player is rumored to be on the move these days, Manchester City seems to always be at the center of the commotion.
City’s owners have shown they have no fear throwing down the big bucks to get the players they want. Coach Pep Guardiola is apparently already in talks with Messi and his father Jorge about a possible deal.
Messi’s father Jorge Messi has already touched down in Manchester to discuss terms with #ManCity.
— City Chief (@City_Chief) August 26, 2020
As with any legal sports bet there are no locks and everything can change in an instant. But the forecast for the moment shows Messi in Manchester Blue in the near future.
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Jimmy began his journalistic journey as a stat recorder and PA announcer for his middle school baseball team. Full of experience across print, broadcast, and sports radio, he brings his knowledge and toolkit to the LegalSportsBetting team. You can find him watching sports, making parlays, and listening to music on any day ending in Y.