Barcelona have decided they’re unwilling to swap any Manchester City players in exchange for Lionel Messi, according to reports. The Argentina international wants to leave the Nou Camp after nearly two decades at the club. But they would rather not take City players on board and would prefer for the 33-year-old to stay at the club.
Barcelona star Messi has grown fed up with life at the Nou Camp and, consequently, is ready to leave the club behind.
The Argentina international has already communicated his feelings to the club’s hierarchy, making it clear that he wants to depart for a new challenge elsewhere.
Messi feels Barcelona have got their recruitment wrong in recent years with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele all disappointing.
He was also unhappy with their decision to replace Ernesto Valverde with Quique Setien and feels Ronald Koeman, who was recently appointed, is an unwise appointment.
As a result, City are exploring the possibility of bringing Messi to the Premier League in what would be one of the biggest signings in football history.
It has previously been reported that they’re willing to include players as bait, with Eric Garcia, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Angelino all potentially involved.
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Yet Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo say Barcelona are unwilling to let Messi go for any City players in return.
And that’s because they’d want solely money, money that could be invested in the squad on top assets – rather than rejects from another club.
Barcelona have pointed to Messi’s eyewatering £636million release clause, insisting any teams interested in snapping him up must fork out that amount to get him away from the Nou Camp.
But it’s unlikely that City would stump up that amount of cash on a player who will turn 34 in June.
As well as City, Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Messi and believe they can reunite the Barcelona star with close friend Neymar.
And Juventus are dreaming of the prospect of pairing Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in Andrea Pirlo’s attack as they look to win the Serie A title for the 10th year in a row.
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Meanwhile, reporter Marcelo Bechler has claimed Barcelona are ‘pessimistic’ about their chances of keeping Messi this summer.
He told Bleacher Report: “At the beginning of the season he said what was important was not a big contract or money, but a strong project.
“And with no titles and that loss to Bayern, he still has three or four years left to play and he knows he can help Barca — but they can not help him.
“Messi has always thought him and Barca were ‘just one thing,’ but now he is thinking maybe he can be another thing without Barcelona.
“He can make another step and try to win without Barcelona.
“He is angry with the board and disappointed with the club and wants to leave now. Barca are pessimistic because they can’t offer a solid project and can’t do much to help him.
“It is very likely he leaves Barcelona if there is another project, I don’t know where or which club.
“It is impossible in this economy to pay €700 million, but I think Barca don’t want him here unhappy. After all that Messi gave to them, they don’t want him here as a prisoner.”
Messi has won 10 La Liga titles during his time at Barcelona, as well as four Champions League crowns.
And he’s also scooped six Ballon d’Or awards – more than any player in history including Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.