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Barcelona Transfer News Roundup: Barca considering buying MLS franchise to persuade Lionel Messi to stay, Manchester City believe they lead race to sign Argentine and more: 7 January 2021

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman
Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 07 Jan 2021, 20:01 IST
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Barcelona have a grandiose plan to make Lionel Messi stay. But will it work out?

Barcelona registered a 3-2 victory away from home against Athletic Bilbao last night thanks to a brace from Lionel Messi. The Catalans have moved to third on the La Liga table with the win. Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 7 January 2021.


Presidential candidate believes Lionel Messi will leave this summer

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

In an interview with ESPN, Barcelona presidential Augusti Benedito has revealed that he believes Lionel Messi will exit this summer. The Argentine had informed the club last summer that he would like to leave the club. However, he ended up staying as no clubs could afford to sign him.

While another presidential candidate Joan Laporta remains optimistic about making Messi stay, Benedito believes he is likely to depart when his contract runs out in the summer. He said:

"Keeping Messi would be the best news for the club but I am not very optimistic. 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.
"I would have liked him to say in his interview the other week that his desire is to stay at the club, but he didn't and now we have to wait and see. The truth is I am pessimistic.
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"Remember that in August he said he wanted to leave after 20 years and now he's still not cleared up what he wants to do. The most likely outcome I see is that he leaves us in the summer."

Manchester City believe they're favourites to sign Lionel Messi

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

According to the Daily Telegraph, Manchester City are feeling quite optimistic about their chances of signing Lionel Messi and believe that they're frontrunners to secure his services in the summer.

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Lionel Messi is waiting to make a call on his future and the presidential elections that take place on January 24th will influence his decision. Meanwhile, Manchester City are planning to offer Lionel Messi a long-term contract which will see him play for the Etihad outfit and then MLS sister club New York City FC.

Messi had admitted earlier in an interview that he fancies living in the United States of America and playing there and as such, this could prove to be too good an offer to pass up for Messi.

Barcelona to attempt buying MLS franchise to keep Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi had earlier admitted that he would like to play in the MLS and live in the United States of America before he calls it a day on his playing career and now, according to AS, Barcelona will look to buy an MLS franchise which is an initiative proposed by presidential candidate Xavi Vilajoana.

As per the report, Barcelona plan on letting Lionel Messi join the MLS side once they decide to call it quits at the Camp Nou. However, given the terrible financial condition that Barcelona find themselves in currently, it does not look like they will be able to pull it off any time soon.

Published 07 Jan 2021, 20:01 IST
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