Messi wants to leave Barcelona: Man City, PSG, Inter, contract: 28 August summary
Messi requests Barcelona exit: live updates and reactions
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For the latest news relating to the Argentine's possible Camp Nou departure, please follow our new live coverage here.
Pep in Barcelona
El Chiringuito are reporting that the Man City manager is back where he made his name.
Probably just seeing old friends...
Jesús won't be sacrificed for Messi
Contrary to previous reports, Man City have said that Gabriel Jesús, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez are not going to be part of any exchange deal to bring the Argentine star to The Emirates.
That's the story in the Times Sport on Saturday.
'Messi has a price'
Our front page for Saturday has, surprise, surprise, another Messi focus.
As per the stories we've been bringing you, Barça want lots of cash and appropriate player reinforcements, Messi wants a friendly parting, although he is considering a no-show on Sunday
Messi out should be good news for Madrid, right?
Real Madrid's bitter rivals Barça are in turmoil, with their talisman requesting to leave, but Ramon Calderón does not think that is a good thing for Los Blancos.
It's not over yet but...
...if you're going to be sad at Lionel Messi leaving Barça then this will not help.
A friendly end desired
The Argentine has decided that looking for an amicable departure from the Catalan club is the most prudent line of action.
Mexit not certain, says former VP
As reported by El Larguero this evening, the former vice-president to Bartomeu, Emili Rousaud, has spoken about the situation.
"I'm not completely sure that Messi is going to leave Barça. If Leo decides to go, there must be a negotiation."
Is the Old Lady eyeing a GOAT pairing?
French news outlet L'Équipe say that, just like PSG, Juventus have made contact with Jorge Messi, father of the wantaway Barça star.
There's not a lot of detail to the report, with a suggestion that the Italian club is just making themselves known as potential suitors. Let's see if more comes out of this one.
How Pep could use Messi
Sam Tighe considers how the Man City boss may use all of his tactical nous to fit the six-time Ballon d'Or winner into his side.
Messi to follow Neymar example?
OK, so there are clearly some differences between the potential approach being taken by Messi and that of the Brazilian, but is it the right move for the man who has been such a key part of the Catalan club?
Barça not for budging
As far as we understand, despite Messi's intentions to get out, the club is not willing to move on the release clause.
What's €700 million between friends???
Messi wanting a happy departure
According to Spanish paper El Periodico, Messi has requested a meeting with the Camp Nou hierarchy still with the objective of leaving the club, but parting as friends.
Guardiola and his magic
It didn't work out so well for City's trophy aspirations last season but throw a bit more cash at the situation to bring in the best players and Pep has the formula for success
City fancy their chances
According to a report in The Guardian, Manchester City feel they are in pole position to sign Leo Messi if all the pieces fall into place. The big question is what Barcelona have to say about it and how protracted any legal wrangle might be.
Klopp rules out Messi move
The Liverpool boss was inevitably asked about Leo Messi during his pre-Charity Shield presser and while he admitted the Argentinean is a decent player, "the numbers are not for us." Let's see what Carlo Anelotti says when he's asked the same thing...
"I can't see Messi joining Cristiano at Juventus"
Juventus forward Juan Cuadrado cannot envisage unsettled Barcelona ace Lionel Messi joining up with Cristiano Ronaldo with the Serie A champions.
Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan have been most strongly linked with moves for the 33-year-old. Others have fantasised that Messi could join Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin to bring together the two best players of the modern day, but Cuadrado would be surprised if such a move happened.
"I can't imagine it at all. The truth is that I just can't see it happening," he told ESPN Nexo on Thursday. "But then again, just like with Cristiano, many people did not believe it would happen and all of a sudden, he arrived."
It remains to be seen what Messi's end game here is. There is the possibility that this is a power play - either Bartomeu goes or he does. It also can't be ruled out that the 33-year-old has an eye on a whopping final Camp Nou contract, but probably only if he also has a say in who stays and goes at boardroom level.
Messi return to Argentina "a question of state"
"We don’t have to make any call," Juan José Concina, Newell’s secretary general told a local radio station in Rosario this week when asked about the possibility of the Argentina captain returning to his boyhood club.
"No one knows more clearly than he does that Newell’s wants him to come here. And that is not dependent on a phone call. We have to be cool about it.
"It’s not just about Newell’s, his arrival here is good not just for our institution but for Argentine football as a whole. That’s why I agree that it’s a question of state, because it would be a real boost for the game in Argentina."
It seems inevitable that unless Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu changes his stance on Messi, or decides the best thing for all concerned if for him to leave his position - something history suggests is unlikely - then this could well wind up in the courts. Barça have been here before of course with Neymar, but Messi's case could be slightly different.
Old Boys dreaming and driving
Lionel Messi has never hidden his desire to play for hometown club Newell’s Old Boys and though his decision to leave Barcelona prompted dancing in the streets of Rosario on Thursday, most fans know he's probably not coming home just yet.
Officials and supporters of the club believe Messi will one day pull on their distinctive half red, half blue shirt but they are aware that at the age of 33, Messi probably has a few more years in Europe before heading home for a romantic swan song.
And here they are in a car procession making their desires known
Messi's decision made?
Reports via El Larguero continue the strong idea that the Argentinean is heading to Manchester:
"Messi has very much made the decision for City, so Paris is a rather unlikely destination"
'MESSI GOES TO WAR'
Our front page makes the position pretty clear.
One story in town
Mundo Deportivo, like Sport, lead with the Bartomeu story, and there is also mention of Koeman's promises to Griezmann.
Surrounding it, however, is the idea that Wijnaldum, not Mané, is the Liverpool target for Barça.
Barça's new strikeforce?
As well as leading with the story of Bartomeu 'offering his head' for Messi to stay (see below for details), Sport say that Barça's attacking line-up could be rather different in the coming weeks.
The idea is to bring in Inter's Lautero - who they say is keen - while making a tempting proposition to Liverpool's Sadio Mané.
I'll stick my neck out here (after reading the detail of the article) and suggest Reds fans can sleep easy.
Griezmann's change of heart
While the French striker could not take another season the same as the one before, recent developments have given him a refreshed feeling about what lies ahead under Koeman.
The father, and agent, of Lionel Messi was reported to have been in England on Wednesday and Thursday negotiating a deal with CIty. That's that then.
Well, then some well connected folk in Argentina said, 'hold up, Jorge's back home in Rosario!'
The latest news we have is that Messi Sr is travelling to Barcelona on Sunday for talks, potentially with City representatives as well as the home officials.
A Messi ultimatum
As fans of Barça and/or the player continued their angry protests against the club president, he was said to be willing to resign his post.
Oh, but Messi had to do something publicly first...
Man City's financing plan
Reports in Catalonia were that the club seen as most likely to be the proud owner of a new GOAT had an exchange plan in mind.
Messi tells Barcelona he wants to leave
On Tuesday the news broke that Lionel Messi had told his club FC Barcelona that he wanted to leave. It appeared then that the player's mind was already made up and that he would not play again for the club that he has served for so long.
That position has not changed in the last 48 hours or so...but there has been plenty of news surrounding it.