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Five clubs Messi could join amid Barcelona pay-cut row

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Lionel Messi is able to leave Barcelona on a free transfer this summer – and he just might, too.

The Argentine star, 32, has been at the Nou Camp for the last 19 years and has never once looked even close to walking away.

Lionel Messi could finally quit Barcelona and team up with Guardiola or Conte

In fact, since 2005, Messi has extended his contract eight times.

However, it’s understood in his last extension – signed in 2017 – a clause was included which allows him to leave at the end of any season.

Barcelona chiefs were happy to allow the clause to be added, laughing off the idea of losing their star man.

But now, after a series of rows between Messi and the board, the impossible now looks very much possible.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at five clubs the Argentine ace could end up at in what would be a strange new world…

MAN CITY
YOU can’t mention the best players in the world without mentioning the Etihad giants.

Man City have long been linked with Messi – despite the player having no interest in leaving Barcelona.

With Pep Guardiola – Messi’s former boss in arguably his most-fruitful years – at the helm, there is always the possibility of a move for the Argentine forward.

More importantly, City can afford to pay his sky-high wages – believed to be around £500,000 a week AFTER tax in Spain.

INTER MILAN
The Serie A giants were a surprise name to enter the race to sign Messi earlier this week.

Taking a break from hoovering up the Premier League’s outcasts, Antonio Conte has turned his attention to a marquee signing.

Former club president Massimo Moratti is confident Inter will land their man, too.

Let’s not forget, Inter were the only team to ever trigger Messi’s release clause.

In 2006, with Messi aged just 18, Inter agreed to pay his £132million release fee – only missing out on him because the Argentine wanted to stick around in Spain.

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PSG
Seemingly always on the brink of breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, PSG could actually be flush with cash this summer.

Both Neymar (Barcelona) and Kylian Mbappe (Real Madrid) are expected to leave the club for monster fees – with the added bonus of their wages being off the books too.

That could allow the Ligue 1 giants to throw all of that money at Messi’s outrageous pay-packet for the rest of his career.

If PSG were willing to sell Neymar to Barcelona, then a move for Messi to the French capital could be all the more feasible, too…

JUVENTUS
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the same team? It could happen. And again, it could be all thanks to Guardiola.

In February, Juventus were linked with Guardiola – with the Spaniard’s future at the Etihad uncertain.

Should Guardiola take over at the Italian giants, a possible tandem of the two frenemies up front is a very real – and very scary – possibility.

INTER MIAMI
Ever since September, David Beckham – owner of the brand new MLS franchise – has spoken of his desire to bring Messi to Florida.

Beckham is still hopeful of bringing Messi to the MLS

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Still only 32, it’s unlikely the Barca boy would give it all up to head to the US.

Whatever age, Messi would be the biggest name to ever head to the States – even after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney and Golden Balls himself.

Their biggest drawback, though, would be how to pay him – with a team salary cap in place in the MLS.

The post Five clubs Messi could join amid Barcelona pay-cut row appeared first on Sporting Life.

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