Manchester City do “believe they have a chance” of signing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, according to the Guardian‘s Fabrizio Romano.
The ultra-reliable Italian journalist has co-written a piece with the English newspaper’s La Liga correspondent Sid Lowe, where they outline why the Argentinian legend could be available on a free transfer.
Messi’s representatives believe there is a clause in his contract which allows him to leave for nothing, as long as he communicates his intention to Barca. That was done via burofax yesterday and City will back the player’s lawyers in saying this action is legal.
However, Barcelona are likely to contest this claim through the courts as they believe the clause has expired. They will demand sufficient compensation for the player and although they are unlikely to get the €700m (£629m), which is his current buyout clause, they would expect a significant fee regardless.
It goes without saying that there will be competition for Messi. Paris Saint-Germain are in the frame while reports in Spain suggest Manchester United have already made enquiries. Rio Ferdinand even suggested that Chelsea will be interested:
Just heard Frank Lampard is now in for #messi
Some window this if Lamps pulls this off !!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 25, 2020
Whether there is any real substance behind that rumour, we shall have to see. City will certainly be banking on Messi’s strong relationship with manager Pep Guardiola to get the deal done.