2:30:01 AM PST - Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

Manchester City on alert for Lionel Messi as Barcelona presidential candidate says star forward ‘likely’ to leave this summer  

By Editor - Wed Jan 06, 5:22 am

Manchester City have been given the most encouragement yet in their pursuit of Lionel Messi with one of Barcelona’s presidential candidates claiming the Argentina forward is “most likely” to leave the club in the summer. City believe they would be at the front of the queue to sign Messi if the six-time World Player of the Year decides to quit Barcelona at the end of the season when his contract expires, although Mauricio Pochettino has refused to rule out Paris Saint-Germain moving for the 33-year-old. Messi has said he will delay a decision on his future until the end of the season, despite wanting to quit Barcelona last summer when Josep Maria Bartomeu was still president and admitting the club will struggle to compete for the biggest trophies over the next couple of years given their financial troubles. Yet Agusti Benedito – one of the candidates bidding to become Bartomeu’s successor as president in the club elections on Jan 24 – does not believe the chances of keeping Messi are good and fears he will depart this summer. “Keeping Messi would be the best news for the club but I am not very optimistic,” Benedito told ESPN. “Given the club's situation, I think it’s really important that he stays at Barca, with the understanding that he understands the next two years we have in front us [could be difficult]. “He’s been here for 20 years – he’s a Barcelona fan and I think he’s sensitive to the situation. “He has given us so much in the same way that Barcelona have given him a lot and it’s time for us all to roll up our sleeves

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Manchester City on alert for Lionel Messi as Barcelona presidential candidate says star forward ‘likely’ to leave this summer

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