Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu willing to resign if Lionel Messi stays

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu willing to resign if Lionel Messi stays

However, the club suffered the biggest shock when their skipper Messi informed them that he wanted to leave the Nou Camp side this summer.

While many were startled at the enormity of the news, others were wondering who could possibly sign the six-time Ballon d'Or victor.

It has been reported that Manchester City have offered Messi a five-year deal, where Messi would play in the Premier League for three seasons before heading to Major League Soccer (MLS) to represent Man City's sister club New York FC for the final two seasons of his contract.

Despite Messi's availability, Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho remains the top target for Manchester United, who will continue their efforts to negotiate a deal with the Bundesliga club to bring the England global back to the Premier League.

Barca officials, however, have said that the clause expired in June and that the prolonged season due to the Covid-19 pandemic has no bearing on the agreement. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are seen as the leading candidates to land the Argentine, but it will cost in excess of half-a-billion pounds to sign the 33-year-old this summer if he is not let go on a free transfer. Messi is reportedly keen to reunite with Guardiola, who mentored the fleet-footed No. 10 at the Camp Nou from 2008-12.

The Argentina global has scored 634 goals in 745 games in all competitions over the past 16 seasons at Camp Nou.

Re-tweeting a news report on Messi's potential new destination, KKR on Wednesday tweeted a morphed photo of the Barcelona star and wrote: "Mr. #Messi, How about donning the Purple and Gold?" Meanwhile, Man City also have Sergio Aguero, who is Messi's Argentina teammate.

Even if he was to move without a transfer fee - and that seems unlikely without extensive legal wrangling - the cost of signing Messi would be enormous.

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