On Thursday, Barcelona shocked football fans and pundits, when they confirmed Lionel Messi will be leaving this summer.
Messi’s exit comes one year after he tried to force a move away from Camp Nou.
However, this time, the 34-year-old will surely part ways with Barca.
“Despite having reached an agreement with Messi and with both parties clearly wanting to sign a new contract, it cannot be finalised due to financial and structural problems [rules relating to the Spanish league],” an official club statement read in part.
Messi’s availability throws the summer transfer market open.
Realistically, maybe only three clubs can afford him: Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Chelsea.
At PSG, he will be reuniting with Neymar, who left Barcelona in 2017. The two forwards spent four seasons together, winning the LaLiga title twice and Champions League once.
If he moves to City, he will be playing under Pep Guardiola again. Both men also worked together for four years. Four of Messi’s six Ballon d’Or wins came while he played under Guardiola at the Camp Nou.
Chelsea also have an outside chance of landing the Argentine captain. Thomas Tuchel is looking to beef up his attack ahead of his first full season at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have been linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Inter Milan striker, Romelu Lukaku.