Lionel Messi may still leave Barcelona after informing the club of his decision to activate a clause that unilaterally ended his bumper contract at the Nou Camp last month. However, the Catalan giants are insisting that clause expired in June and are refusing to release him.
But a new day brings a fresh twist and, after his father Jorge met with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu yesterday, the odds have swung hugely towards him now remaining at the Nou Camp as of Thursday lunchtime – and he’s big odds-on to do so.
If he is to leave, Paddy Power make Manchester City and PSG the favourites to sign Messi this summer, though at much longer odds than on Wednesday, in what would be a truly incredible swoop. Though every club in the world would welcome the Argentine magician, not many could afford his wages.
PSG’s chances of sealing this amazing transfer tumbled from 14/1 to 9/1 yesterday after punters started piling in but, they are now back to longer than Tuesday’s price. City were our odds-on favourites but have also drifted hugely. Elsewhere, the game looks up for Manchester United who have slid from a shortish price last week to rank outsiders.
Messi is the same price to forge a legendary partnership with long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, which would be amazing to see, while the Chinese-backed Inter Milan‘s chances are shortening and they’re now Messi’s fourth-most likely option, according to Paddy’s traders.
There are whispers that his father has set up an office in Italy so it is possible that Messi wants to follow Ronaldo to Serie A and continue his relentless performance-based trolling of the former Real Madrid man – with him or against him.
Wherever Messi ends up, his place in football folklore is well and truly cemented. The Argentinian genius has racked up a record-breaking six World Player of the Year awards – much to the annoyance of Ronaldo – and has well over 400 La Liga goals in the bank.
A return to Argentina, the country he left as a 13-year-old for Barcelona, is possible, as are ever-so-slightly-less emotive moves to the Chinese Super League or MLS.
Spokesman Paddy Power said: “The Messi divorce continues, and, what a surprise, it looks like he could be staying put at Barcelona after all.
“We’ve shifted him into his shortest price to stay put this window, which means bad news for Man City fans, but good news for fans and players of any other club in the Premier League who may have had to face him next season.”
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