Lionel Messi is set to stay at Barcelona for another season, but what does the future hold? We round up the very latest news and press rumours.
- All the latest analysis on Lionel Messi’s future
- Messi tells Barcelona he wants to leave
- Which club is best-placed to sign Messi?
- Insight: Messi’s contract situation explained
- Is Messi still the world’s best?
- The seven ages of Messi
- Transfer Show: Messi keen on Pep reunion
- How would Messi do in the Premier League?
- Get Sky Sports – All channels £23 a month
Friday September 4
Lionel Messi says he will remain at Barcelona next season after performing a shock U-turn on his future.
Lionel Messi has decided to stay at Barcelona, despite his father saying he has the option to leave through a get-out clause (TyC Sports in Argentina)
Lionel Messi’s father and agent Jorge has released an official statement claiming that his son shall be able to leave Barcelona for free as the club’s 700m Euros release clause is “not applicable at all”. La Liga instantly replied saying the clause is valid.
Lionel Messi is now contemplating staying for one more year at Barcelona after talks between the club and his father, Jorge, who is also his agent (The Times)
Manchester City’s hopes of signing Lionel Messi have taken a hit after the player’s father was told that Barcelona are currently unwilling to negotiate his sale (Daily Telegraph)
Thursday September 3
Lionel Messi could now stay at Barcelona, according to various reports in Argentina, after his father met with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu (London Evening Standard).
Lionel Messi’s transfer fee to leave Barcelona could be as little as €100m (£88.8m), according to sources familiar with his extraordinary attempt to quit the Nou Camp (Daily Telegraph).
The meeting between Lionel Messi’s father Jorge and Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu ended without an agreement on Wednesday night and the Manchester City target will remain on strike (Daily Mail).
Sergio Ramos believes Lionel Messi has earned the right to decide his future, but is keen for the Barcelona forward to stay in Spain.
Wednesday September 2
Lionel Messi’s father Jorge has touched down in Barcelona ahead of crunch talks with the club’s hierarchy over his future.
Lionel Messi has agreed terms to complete a stunning move to Manchester City (Daily Express).
Barcelona’s board are still at odds over the future of Messi – with some opposed to Josep Bartemou’s approach that the Argentinian will not be sold (Marca).
Manchester City chief Txiki Begiristain has travelled to Barcelona to try and get a deal for Lionel Messi over the line, while also negotiating a move for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly (Daily Star).
According to Spanish radio station SER, Messi is not sure whether he will be allowed to leave Barcelona this summer (Sport).
Jorge Messi answered “it’s difficult, difficult for him to stay at Barca” when questioned on his son’s future after touching down in Barcelona on Wednesday morning (AS).
Lionel Messi’s father has been pictured boarding a private jet as he looks to accelerate his son’s exit from Barcelona (Daily Star).
Lionel Messi has told close friends he is intent on leaving Barcelona in the build-up to his father’s showdown talks with the club president Josep Bartomeu to discuss the bitter breakdown of their relationship (Daily Telegraph).
Tuesday September 1
Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font says it seems unlikely Lionel Messi will change his mind about leaving the club. Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Font – the man who hopes to take over from current president Josep Bartomeu – stated his belief while there is hope, the likely outcome is that the player will leave.
Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona this summer and is “likely” to move to Manchester City, according to presidential candidate Toni Freixa (Goal).
Barcelona believe the only way the Argentina forward can legally leave for free is if he commits to not playing football next season (ESPN).
Lionel Messi will be offered a two-year contract by Manchester City if they are able to prise him away from the Nou Camp (Daily Mail).
Monday August 31
Lionel Messi will not train with Barcelona on Monday, with the forward no longer considering himself a Barca player. Messi’s father and representative, Jorge, is expected to meet with the Barcelona hierarchy, including president Josep Maria Bartomeu, on Wednesday to discuss his son’s future.
Lionel Messi is holding firm to his decision to leave Barcelona in the present transfer window and join Manchester City (The Times).
Bartomeu’s strategy is to return to contract discussions with Messi’s father, in a bid to entice the Argentina star to stay – but an agreement currently looks unlikely (AS).
Manchester City are prepared to pay Messi £450m as part of a five-year plan that would see him join City’s sister club New York City FC in Major League Soccer for the final two years. (Sport)
Sunday August 30
Lionel Messi has failed to show up for Barcelona’s pre-season PCR coronavirus testing programme, and will now not join training tomorrow.
Executives at Barcelona have been given orders not to even respond to calls from any interested parties in signing Messi (Mundo Deportivo).
Barcelona and Manchester City both believe Messi is set for the Premier League, with the Catalan club eyeing a compromise worth £250m. With City’s lawyers now examining the clause in Messi’s contract that gives them hope they can sign the Argentine for free, beleaguered Barca bosses hope that the Blues will agree to a players-plus-cash deal rather than take a £630m gamble in court (Sunday Mirror).
Messi’s father Jorge plans to travel to Barcelona from Rosario in Argentina to discuss an amicable exit from the club, while president Josep Bartomeu is only interested in discussing a new contract (Mundo Deportivo).
Senior figures at Barcelona expect Messi to join Manchester City, with the Spanish club preparing for life without their iconic captain by looking at potential replacements, including Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez (Sunday Telegraph).
Barcelona have told Mundo Deportivo there is ‘no clause’ which alters the value of Messi’s €700m release clause (Mundo Deportivo).
Messi’s release clause exempts the Argentine from paying the €700m fee if he decides to leave in the final season of his existing contract (El Larguero).
Saturday August 29
Messi has requested a personal meeting with the Barcelona hierarchy to discuss a solution to his transfer request.
Juventus have reportedly approached Messi over a stunning move that would see him join up with Cristiano Ronaldo (Daily Mail).
Messi is reportedly considering not turning up for PCR coronavirus tests at the Barcelona training ground on Sunday after speaking with his legal team (Sport).
Manchester City are unwilling to include regular first team players as makeweights in a bid to sign Messi. Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez have all been mooted as potentially forming part of the negotiations (Daily Mail).
City are hopeful Lionel Messi’s friendship with Sergio Aguero could be key to striking deal (Daily Telegraph).
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu will refuse to sell Messi because of his support from the club’s fans, and would not sanction a part-exchange deal with Manchester City. Bartomeu will speak with Messi on Sunday only about the legalities of the clause in his contract which previously permitted him to leave the club for free (Mundo Deportivo).
Ronald Koeman has returned to Barcelona after several days in Amsterdam, and will look to act as a mediator between Messi and Bartomeu to resolve the player’s future (Sport).
Messi has still not responded to Bartomeu’s offer to resign if he agrees to stay at the club, but the player is expected to make his thoughts clear ‘very soon’ (Sport).
Bartomeu will only sit down with Messi if it is to discuss a new contract, and will only sanction a transfer if it satisfies his €700m release clause (Sport).
Friday August 28
Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid Messi leaving Barcelona, including resigning from his position. He has told the player if he says publicly his presidency has been the reason behind his desire to leave the club, he would quit if it would convince him to stay (Mundo Deportivo).
Manchester City’s plans for Messi are in line with the player’s – that they can bring him to the Etihad Stadium on a free – but if not, they are willing to include Eric Garcia, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Angelino and Riyad Mahrez in any transfer offer (Mundo Deportivo).
Manchester City are not willing to offer any more than €100m for Messi, but will offer up to three players in exchange – Jesus, Bernardo Silva and Garcia (Sport).
Messi will publicly reveal his reasons for wanting to leave Barcelona at the ‘right time’ but is aware he needs to make clear his thought process (Sport).
Paris Saint-Germain believe they can re-unite Neymar and Messi by bringing the Argentine to the Ligue 1 champions this summer (Mundo Deportivo).
The Barcelona hierarchy are sceptical Messi will report for pre-season training on Sunday because it would contradict the fax he sent to the club earlier this week to announce his intention to leave, which included the line “with effect August 30” (Sport).
Sadio Mane would be willing to sign for Barcelona to replace Messi if the Argentine does depart the Nou Camp (Sport).
Thursday August 27
Manchester City are in the strongest position to sign Lionel Messi – if the Argentina star can get out of Barcelona this summer.
Sky Sports News has been told that both Messi and City boss Pep Guardiola want to renew their partnership at the Etihad – putting the Premier League runners-up in a commanding lead over other suitors.
Manchester City are watching Lionel Messi’s attempt to leave Barcelona this summer with interest but remain unconvinced the Argentina superstar will quit the Nou Camp.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled the recently-crowned Champions League winners out of the race for Barcelona forward Messi. When asked whether Bayern would be in the running for Messi, Rummenigge told Tuttosport: “No. We can’t pay a player of that size. It is not part of our policy and philosophy.”
Messi could cost Manchester City half a billion pounds if they go ahead with what would be the biggest signing in Premier League history before the start of the season (Daily Telegraph).
Manchester City have been working for more than a week to try to pull off the biggest transfer coup that English football has ever seen by signing Messi (The Times).
Manchester City will go all out to sign Lionel Messi – as long as he is committed to joining them (The Sun).
Manchester City emerged as front-runners to sign Lionel Messi on Wednesday and are cautiously confident they can do so without becoming embroiled in the player’s bitter contract dispute with Barcelona (Daily Mail).
Jorge Messi, Lionel Messi’s father, is already in contact with representatives from Manchester City (TyC and RAC1).
Manchester City may put Eric Garcia, Angelino and Gabriel Jesus on the table if they are to move for Messi (Mundo Deportivo)
Messi could move to Manchester City on a three-year contract, with two optional years in New York City for NYC FC (Mundo Deportivo)
Messi will attend training on Monday with Barcelona’s first team, the first session that Ronald Koeman will take (Sport)
Despite Messi telling Barcelona he wants to go and won’t change his mind, president Josep Maria Bartomeu will not throw in the towel (Sport)
The club in the best position to sign him are Manchester City, and contact between the player and the English club has already taken place (Marca)
Paris Saint-Germain have looked to steal a march in the race for Messi’s signature by holding talks with his representatives less than 48 hours after he submitted a transfer request at Barcelona (Ole).
Wednesday August 26
Barcelona are still trying to convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club after he expressed his desire to leave, says sporting director Ramon Planes.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Inter Milan and PSG are in line to sign Messi (L’Equipe).
Messi asked Pep Guardiola if Manchester City were willing to sign him a few days before he informed Barcelona he wanted to leave (Mundo Deportivo).
Manchester City are also willing to part with Gabriel Jesus as they eye a transfer for Messi (Globo).
Messi reportedly sent the documents outlining his desire to leave the club by burofax, the service provided by Spain’s postal service. By using burofax, Messi can legally prove the recipient received the document on a given date (AS).
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has reportedly decided to resign amid suggestions Lionel Messi has told the club he wants to leave (TYC Sports).
Lionel Messi risks a FIFA ban if he leaves Barcelona without resolving his contractual dispute, a leading sports lawyer has claimed.
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