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Lionel Messi could be waving goodbye to Barcelona Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Manchester City chiefs Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain better be watching events at Barcelona very closely as superstar striker Lionel Messi has had a public row with sporting director Eric Abidal.

The English Premier League side are considered to be at the front of the queue if Messi were ever to quit Camp Nou, where he has played his entire career.

Messi took to social media to express his displeasure at Abidal airing his views on the Barcelona players’ attitude under former coach Ernesto Valverde.

Abidal had said players were not working hard under Valverde who was sacked in January. Quique Setien replaced him at the helm.

Abidal was quoted as saying: “Many players weren’t satisfied or working hard and there was also an internal communication problem. The relationship between the coach and the dressing room has always been good, but there are things as an ex-player that I could smell. I told the club what I thought and we reached a decision on Valverde.”

Messi shot back on social media: “When you talk about players, you have to give names because if not, it gives air to things which are not true.

Messi then posted on social media: “Sincerely, I don’t like to do these things but I think that people have to be responsible for their jobs and own their decisions.

“The players (are responsible) for what happens on the pitch and we are the first to admit when we haven’t been good. The heads of the sports department have to take their responsibilities too and, above all, own the decisions they make.”

Despite Lionel Messi’s outburst, Abidal will keep his job at the club.

Barcelona held an emergency meeting Abidal on Wednesday to discuss the matter and it was decided he will keep his place.

That could leave Messi’s nose out of joint and if he packs his bags, Manchester City will very likely be his next destination.

It has worked for Argentina for years, and now Sergio Aguero and Messi up front for City might be just what Pep Guardiola needs to wrest the Premier League title back from Liverpool.