Lionel Messi transfer news: Barcelona admit Messi could leave if Manchester City or PSG came calling because 'strange things happen'

The Spanish club admit that they would be unable to match a big offer form a high-spending club

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The Independent Online

Barcelona have re-ignited talk of a Lionel Messi departure after one of the club’s directors admitted they would not be able to match an big-money offer from a free-spending club.

Messi’s future came into question more than ever during the January transfer window as reports linked the Argentina international with a move to the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

However, the 27-year-old denied that leaving the Nou Camp is on the cards, only to perform a dramatic U-turn at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony where he admitted he does not know where he’ll be playing next season.

 

Messi appeared to get his head down and focus on his football once more, with his performances since the turn of the year showing a marked improvement. The Barcelona superstar was at his clinical best on Sunday morning as he scored the 24th league hat-trick of his career in the Catalans 6-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano, which also saw him surpass the 40-goal mark for the sixth consecutive season.

But Barcelona’s international sporting director Ariedo Braida has reignited talk of a dramatic move for Messi that would almost certainly break the current world transfer record, which stands at £86m that Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale two years ago.

Speaking to Catalan TV channel Esport 3: "I believe it's very difficult that Messi will leave Barca but at times in football strange things happen.

"Now with these clubs that have so much money like (Manchester) City, certain amounts don't seem to have a value.

"In football things happen that appear impossible but I hope he will remain."

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Messi could leave Barcelona if a big offer came in

Having fired Barcelona back to the top of La Liga following Real’s shock defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday evening, Messi showed no signs of letting up his unrelenting form this season, which has now seen him score 30 goals and create 14 assists in the league alone.

It’s these stats that led Braida to describe the record four-time Ballon d’Or winner as “an alien”, and another reason why clubs such as City and PSG would be interested in signing him should he ever become available.

"He is not just a player," Braida added. "Messi is a phenomenon, he is an alien."

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