Lionel Messi has reportedly been offered a huge package by Manchester City in order to leave Barcelona behind at the end of the season. However, the Argentina international is yet to decide on his future. Pep Guardiola isn’t the only manager chasing the 33-year-old, with PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino also keen.
Messi wanted to leave Barcelona last summer, believing he could leave the Nou Camp for free.
However, the 33-year-old was forced to stay put – and has since seen the Catalan giants suffer an alarming slump in form.
Messi has been in fine form himself but Barcelona, as a whole, have struggled with their La Liga and Champions League hopes already all but over.
The Sun say City have offered the veteran a huge financial package worth £430million, having previously been prepared to offer him even more.
But it’s claimed that Messi is yet to make up his mind on his future, regardless of the amount of money on the table.
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“He can play in my place, I have no problem with that!
“But I want to play with him next year, for sure. We have to do it next season.”
However, what ultimately happens remains to be seen.
Former Barcelona star Rivaldo thinks Messi will end up in France, rather than England, thought has admitted he wants the veteran to stay put.
“This may well have been Lionel Messi’s last match for Barcelona at Camp Nou in the Champions League,” he said.
“Based on the quality PSG showed, I’m sure he might be thinking about joining them.
“I want Messi to stay at Barcelona but I understand why he’d want to leave at the moment when the club is not guaranteeing him good chances of fighting for important titles regularly.
“He can’t keep taking responsibility for the team on his own. Last summer, he saw Luis Suarez leave in an incomprehensible transfer that has made Atletico Madrid stronger.
“I believe he will leave the club at the end of season.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman admitted he was upset following the 4-1 defeat to PSG in midweek – despite cameras showing him laughing at full time.
“Surely the result reflects how superior they have been,” he said.
“In the second half we had problems defensively. They proved physically to be very superior to us.
“We have to admit that they have been superior. They have shown that they have a more complete team than us. We have to accept it, improve things.
“We know that this can happen because we play against a great team, a physical team, with experience… for many things that is ahead of us.
“A 4-1 defeat is normally very difficult. I can lie to you but losing at home 4-1 there are very few options.
“The game has shown us that we lack things to be at the best level, especially at the Champions League level.”