Lionel Messi’s exit could trigger one of the greatest transfer tug of wars in football history. Here is how he would fit in with every competitor for his signature
If you thought Harry Kane’s failure to report for pre-season training was a dramatic bump in the road, then Lionel Messi’s Barcelona exit is an asteroid into the footballing universe.
Messi’s transfer saga looked like it had reached a happy ending when he agreed to take a 50% pay cut to devote his final years to The Catalans.
Unfortunately for the Argentina captain, the deal smashed against the largest transfer iceberg.
Barcelona’s inability to drastically reduce their seismic salary bill saw La Liga crush the new contract offer, sending the six-time Ballon D’Or winner onto pastures new, against his will.
Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United will likely be surfing over their account numbers to see if they can squeeze the little magician into their plans – here is how they could all set up, should Messi join the ranks.
(4-3-3) Donnarumma, Hakimi, Ramos, Kimpembe, Bernat, Marquinhos, Wijnaldum,Verratti, Messi, Neymar, Mbappe
Last season, Neymar declared his immense desire to play alongside Messi again, and there is every chance he could get his wish.
Messi would complete one of the most furious attacking frontlines in history, moving to his favoured right-hand side to feed PSG’s hitman Kylian Mbappe.
Now he is in his later years, Messi has evolved his game by floating about the pitch and receiving the ball in deeper areas.
However, the Argentinean is arguably the best passer of the ball in world football, and he would be feeding passes to Neymar and Mbappe at will – Ligue One defenders would never be safe again.
(4-3-3) Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Fernandinho, De Bruyne Grealish, Messi, Foden, Kane.
Just when you thought Manchester City had enough ongoing transfer sagas, there is every possibility they could enter the race for Messi.
They were the favourites to sign the Argentinean when he initially said he wanted to leave the Nou Camp at the end of last season.
If an emotional reunion between Messi and Pep Guardiola is on the cards, City could dominate every competition they set foot in.
Whilst it would seem unlikely, there is not yet an indication that moves for Messi and the England captain are off the cards – City could decide to have their cake and eat it by signing both.
With the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich captain reportedly planning to use Grealish as a No.8 midfielder, Kane and Messi could slot in alongside Phil Foden, in what would be a ferocious front line.
(4-3-3) Henderson, Wan-Bisaaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Messi, Sancho, Cavani
It has been reported by The Athletic, Messi was “more charmed by historic English clubs such as Manchester United”.
This very feeling could put United in the driving seat, should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side decide to go big in the window once more.
They have already secured the signing of Jadon Sancho for £73 million, and a £43 million deal for Raphael Varane looks set to be completed when the Frenchman passes a medical.
What club should Messi go to? Comment below
Messi’s addition to United would surely make them the firm favourites for the title, as the Red Devils would be dominant in every area.
United would be overflowing with impressive attacking options, but Messi’s arrival would likely see him take up his favourite right-hand side, alongside Bruno Fernandes who has dominated in the No.10 midfield position.
Sancho mainly featured from the left for Borussia Dortmund in the tail end of last season so he would likely take up the same position.
This leaves one more space for the experienced Edison Cavani, whose intelligent fox in the box like movement would see him gobble up deliveries from Sancho, Fernandes, and Messi.
3-4-3. Mendy, James, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Havertz, Mount, Messi
Chelsea have been craving a clinical, deadly striker to take them to the next level ever since Diego Costa left the Blues in the 2018-19 season.
Who better than arguably the greatest goal scorer in football history.
The sheer plethora of attacking and midfield options, means Thomas Tuchel can throw all the names of his attacking options in the air, and the players that land on the tactics board would likely still win the match.
However, they have lacked a striker with a killer’s instinct in front of goal, and Messi would solve this problem and more.
Tuchel has enjoyed immense success playing with a false nine, and Messi would slot perfectly into the position.
The Argentinean would pop up everywhere in his free position, receiving passes between the lines from Jorginho, before picking his own eye of the needle through ball to the onrushing Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, and Ben Chilwell.
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