1. Lionel Messi wants out of Barca

Lionel Messi

What you need to know about Lionel Messi

1. Lionel Messi wants out of Barca ⚽

Well, we’d heard rumblings of Lionel Messi’s desire to leave Barcelona over the past few weeks, and now those rumblings are turning into something more substantial. It was reported yesterday that Messi has told Barca he does indeed want out after nearly 20 years with the club — a development that could completely shake up the landscape of soccer this offseason.

The 33-year-old superstar apparently wants a fresh start after Barcelona got utterly embarrassed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinal (Bayern won 8-2 and eventually went on to claim the title). Messi wants to trigger an opt-out of his current deal and transfer to a new club. The team held an emergency meeting yesterday to determine how they should move forward, and they reportedly could be heading toward a major rebuild that also includes the departure of Luis Suarez.
A number of Messi’s current and former teammates weighed in on the news yesterday and wished him well, which certainly seems to indicate that this thing is for real.
1. Messi wants out of Barca

Lionel Messi

So, if Messi does indeed leave Barcelona for the first time in his career, where might he find his fresh start? Here are the current odds, via SportsLine:

  • Manchester City (+275)
  • Inter Milan (+333)
  • Juventus (+1000)
  • PSG (+1200)
  • Liverpool (+1300)
  • Newell’s Old Boys (+1600)
  • MLS (+2000)
Messi is said to prefer a move to Man City and the club is already looking into acquiring his services. The fit makes sense, especially when you remember that some of Messi’s best years were under City manager Pep Guardiola. Plus, they’re one of the few clubs that would be able to afford him — so that helps explains why they’re the odds-on favorite right now.
It’s been a pretty incredible ride for Messi at Barca but all signs point to that two-decade run coming to an end soon. Now we wait to see how much drama and jockeying there is in the race to land one of the best to ever play the game.
Personally, I would prefer he stay away from the EPL. As an Arsenal fan, I don’t want to have to root against Messi if he joins Man City/Liverpool. Life as a Gunners fan is already miserable enough.

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