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As the new year inches closer, Messi’s transfer rumours are scorching up yet again. It’s all coming to a head — the drama, the suspense, the intrigue — as clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are once again name-dropped in association with the Argentine’s (potentially free) summer transfer in 2021. But, what are the most dramatic transfer possibilities for Messi after Barcelona? These eight clubs would pack the biggest punch for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner…
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Manchester City: If it’s down to friendship, then Messi will undoubtedly end up at Man City. Not only would he reunite with his old boss Pep Guardiola (and have Kevin De Bruyne cooking up beautiful plays for him), he would also get to storm the pitch with his best pal (or frenemy?) Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian players are incredibly close (not just in height, as both of them clock in at around 170cm, give or take). to the point where Kun has joked: “[Messi] always complains we are like an old married couple.” Maybe all that bickering could light a spark out there on a cold rainy night in Stoke…
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Paris Saint-Germain: Could Messi dive right into the thick of it with Paris Saint-Germain next season? Neymar Jr certainly hopes so, making his feelings crystal clear this week. “What I want the most is to enjoy playing with him again,” the Brazilian forward told ESPN. “He can play in my role, it wouldn’t be a problem with me! For sure, next year we have to do it.” The PSG star played with Messi for four seasons at Camp Nou (2013-2017), so it’s no wonder he’s now gunning for a reunion on French turf.
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Juventus: It would be the news that breaks the Internet. Could Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi team up and put a years-long rivalry to rest? Could the GOAT crown be worn by one on weekdays and the other on weekends? We can just feel the brains of Barcelona and Real Madrid fans exploding if they’re forced to turn their eyes to Serie A next season to watch their teams’ former heroes play side-by-side — a stark contrast to those nail-biting El Classico matches. We admit, Messi to Juvi is a long shot at best, but oh, we’d love to see the day…
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Inter Milan: It would be a sight to behold if Messi goes to Inter Milan, if only for the drama of the derby matches against AC Milan. Messi would have to go head-to-head with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who came close to stealing his spotlight at Barcelona a decade ago. Remember those explosive rumours in 2009, when Ibrahimovic became one of the most expensive transfers in history at Barca, and Messi allegedly texted Pep Guardiola that he felt he was no longer important to the team…? Not only that, but Ibrahimovic wrote in his biography ‘I Am Zlatan’: “None of the lads acted like superstars … Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, the whole gang — they were like schoolboys. The best footballers in the world stood there with their heads bowed, and I didn’t understand any of it. It was ridiculous.” Personally, we’re ready to see ego face off with humility in Italy.
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Newell's Old Boys: There’s nothing more romantic than ending your career where it all started, and the same could be said for Messi returning to his boyhood club. He played in the club’s youth ranks back in the day, but things fell apart when he had to seek treatment for his growth hormone disorder, in the form of regular injections that reportedly cost $900 a month to treat — a price tag that his family couldn’t afford. There’s something goosebump worthy about Messi returning to the old Argentine club not only as a man — but as a football legend adored around the world.
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Inter Miami: Major League Soccer has become an avenue for many footballers in their pre-retirement years, whether you’re Bastian Schweinsteiger or Zlatan Ibrahimovic (although Zlatan didn’t hesitate to drag MLS name through the mud…) We don’t see the MLS as a strong contender for Messi, but David Beckham has expressed interest in bringing the legend down to his club Inter Miami. “We’ve been contacted by a lot of different players about possibly coming to join the team. As with any owner, you really want the best players and if we have the opportunity to bring in players like Cristiano or Leo, I have such admiration for them as athletes. If we could bring those players in, then great.” But, could Messi finally make the MLS cool?
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Liverpool: Could Liverpool be eyeing another strong striker in Messi? Jurgen Klopp has felt the pain of losing vital players to injury and illness this season. Both Salah and Mane had to step out to deal with their Covid-19 diagnoses within a month of each other, and while new signing Diogo Jota was able to strut his stuff and save the day, a signing like Messi could give Liverpool the most lethal combination of forwards in EPL history. The question is, is there enough room on the team bus for all those egos? And could Mane and Salah survive yet another forward to begrudgingly pass the ball to?
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Bayern Munich: Barcelona fans won’t soon forget their lashing the team took at home against Bayern Munich this year, suffering an 8-2 defeat and dropping out of the UEFA Champions League as a result. To add insult to injury, only one of Barcelona’s two goals was by their own foot, with the other being an own goal from Bayern’s David Alaba. With that result still fresh, could Messi consider a move to the ferocious Bundesliga side, current victors of the UEFA Champions League? One thing's for sure... wherever Leo goes, it's bound to get Messi.
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