City are Messi's 'first choice' while PSG switch 'looks impossible'

Manchester City are Lionel Messi’s ‘first choice’ as he searches for a new team with PSG switch ‘looking impossible’ due to France’s high taxes… as he weighs up his next move after shock departure from Barcelona

  • Barcelona made the shock announcement that Lionel Messi will leave the club
  • The Catalan club said that it was ‘because of financial and structural obstacles’
  • Reports claim Messi is already in talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a move
  • The forward has also been linked with a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Man City
  • However, reports in Spain claim Messi’s ‘first choice’ would be City ahead of PSG

Lionel Messi has his heart set on a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City over an ‘impossible-looking’ switch to PSG, according to reports in Spain. 

The Argentine is now searching for a new club after Barcelona made the shock announcement that he would not be re-signing with the club – despite the Catalan club claiming a long-term deal, albeit on lower pay terms, had been agreed.

The 34-year-old has been a free agent since July 1 when his contract expired at the at the club and, with an extension no longer possible, Messi must start to prepare for life away from the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi is weighing up his next move after Barcelona announced his shock departure

The forward was prepared to take a 50 per cent pay deduction from his previous deal – which was worth more than £425million over four years – to adhere to LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.

However, in an official statement on the club’s website, Barcelona claimed that Messi would not be extending his stay due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations).

Reports on Thursday claimed that PSG are leading the charge for Messi, who is said to already be in negotiations with the French side and that the pair are trying to make a financial settlement. 

However, Marca are reporting that Messi’s first choice would be a move to the Etihad, where he would once again play under Guardiola – with the pair enjoying a fruitful partnership during their time at Barcelona together.

PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino (left) and Man City boss Pep Guardiola (right) both want Messi

Reports in Spain claim that Man City is his ‘first choice’ so he can play under Guardiola again

The report goes on to claim that a move to PSG is ‘looking impossible’, given how the Ligue 1 giants need to get rid of players and reduce their mammoth wage bill.

Marca are also claiming that another major problem that has presented itself is France’s taxes. A £25million-a-year salary would see PSG have to fork out £59m-a-year annually on the Argentine.

A move to the MLS has also been mooted but Messi is said to want to continue at the highest level in Europe before retiring Stateside.

The news comes less than 24 hours after Barcelona sent shockwaves around the footballing world. 

Barca president Joan Laporta is expected to lift the lid on Messi’s shock departure at a press conference on Friday. 

Barcelona shared a bombshell statement on Thursday evening saying the 34-year-old would not be staying at the club due to financial restrictions placed upon them by LaLiga

Laporta is due to address the media at 10am BST after a tumultuous few hours in the club’s recent history which began with a statement on their official website.

The statement said: ‘Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

‘As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona.

‘Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.

‘FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.’ 

During that time Messi became Barcelona’s record scorer with 672 goals including 120 Champions League goals and a record 474 LaLiga goals 

The Argentina international joined Barca as a 13-year-old in 2000 and has since established himself as one of the finest players of his or any other generation.

His 778 appearances for the club have yielded a staggering 672 goals and he has played his part in securing 35 trophies, 10 league titles, four Champions League Crowns, seven Copas del Rey, three Club World Cups, the same number of European Super Cups and eight Spanish Super Cups.

Messi’s heroics have also earned him six Ballons d’Or, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo, his long-standing rival in the ongoing debate over the identity of the greatest player of all time.

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