- Lionel Messi on Tuesday told FC Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades, ending weeks of rumours about a possible transfer request.
- However, according to The Guardian, Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City are the only two teams that would actually be able to afford him.
- Messi’s contract at the Camp Nou expires in 2021, and his current release clause stands at over $US800 million.
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Lionel Messi shocked the football world and ended weeks of speculation Tuesday by telling Barcelona he wants to leave the club he has been with since the age of 13.
There’s a slight problem, however. Only teams – Paris Saint German and Manchester City – would actually be able to afford him.
Messi last week told Barcelona’s board he wants to leave the club immediately following its humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Friday, according to Esporte Inerativo. And now has reportedly made that official by sending a written request to the club.
The Argentine’s contract at the Camp Nou expires in 2021, and his current release clause stands at over $US800 million.
According to The Guardian, PSG or Manchester City are the only two clubs that could afford to trigger that clause.
PSG is owned by the billionaire ruler of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and, in the last three years, has forked out the two most expensive transfer fees in football history, paying Barcelona $US263 million for the signing of Neymar in 2017, and AS Monaco $US213 million for Kylian Mbappe a year later.
City is owned by Sheikh Mansour, a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, who has an estimated net worth of $US30 billion. Since Mansour took over the club in 2008, it has spent over $US2 billion on players.
FourFourTwo reports that City is the favourite of the two to land Messi should he leave Catalonia, with manager Pep Guardiola, who Messi played under at Barca between 2008 and 2012, still a huge admirer of the 33-year-old.