Lionel Messi’s father is in England to hold talks with Manchester City over a two-year deal for the Barcelona superstar, according to reports in the UK.
The 33-year-old Argentine playmaker looks set to leave Barcelona after two decades after contracts talks fell apart and he formally requested to leave the Catalan club following the 8-2 Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.
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Now, according to English newspapers, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are in the driving seat to secure his signature, despite many question marks over the cost and wage demands for arguably the greatest footballer of all time.
City striker Sergio Aguero further fuelled rumours that Messi was on his way by dropping the number 10 - his current and Messi's preferred shirt number - from his Intsagram handle.
The Telegraph has reported that the deal could cost City 500 million pounds, due to Messi’s release clause, but Spanish media report that Messi has an option to end his own contract, meaning City could get him for free.
But the deal would still be a pricey one, with Messi’s wages alone expected to be more than 90 million pounds a year. While the legal teams sort out the red tape, Messi will continue to train with Barca, in order to avoid any contract violations.
United to swoop?
Manchester United are also allegedly in the fray to sign Messi, but any deal to go to the Red side of Manchester looks unlikely as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still hopeful of signing Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and Messi’s loyalty to City boss Guardiola, who were together at Barcelona.
Suarez to go?
Meanwhile, Barca look like they are going through a major overhaul as Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, also 33, looks like he will be joining Messi in departing. after new manager Ronald Koeman reportedly told the former Liverpool man he was not part of his plans and he was free to look for another club.
Thiago to Chelsea
Paris St-Germain’s Champions League losing star Thiago Silva will have a medical for Chelsea on Thursday. The 35-year-old looks like he will be in the Premier League next season, despite PSG doing a U-turn to offer the Brazilian a new deal, having earlier told him he is free to leave the French champions.
Chelsea are also targeting Malang Sarr, who could partner Thiago at the back after leaving Ligue 1 side Nice.
Another PSG free agent, Edinson Cavani, is still up for grabs after he refused an offer from Juventus, due to his loyalty to former club Napoli.