Barcelona feature in our latest European football tips

Lionel Messi transfer news: Where next if Barca talks collapse?

We’re tracking the latest Lionel Messi transfer news, rumours and odds for clues on where the Ballon d’Or winner could play this season.

Messi is now a free agent after his contract at Barcelona expired and the club’s financial problems mean it is far from certain that they can find room within their salary cap to agree a new deal, although talks are reported to be taking place.

If he does leave the Nou Camp for free, there will be no shortage of clubs willing to offer him a new challenge even at the age of 34.

Here are the leading contenders to capture his signature before September 3, according to bwin’s Lionel Messi transfer odds:

MAN CITY @ 5/2

A move to the Etihad would bring a reunion with former boss Pep Guardiola. While coaching the Argentina forward at Barca, Guardiola won three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies during a four-year spell in charge from 2008. City are searching for a replacement for Sergio Aguero and Messi could fit the bill, although City are also favourites to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

PSG @ 4/1

These clubs have past history of completing mega-rich deals, with Neymar switching from the Nou Camp to PSG in 2017 for £200million. The Brazil ace may even fancy going back in the opposite direction, although Barca’s financial problems make that unlikely this summer. The French aristocrats also splashed the cash on Kylian Mbappe and could see Messi as the final piece of the Champions League puzzle after their failure to win European football’s biggest prize.

ANY MLS CLUB @ 8/1

Having spent his entire career playing for Barcelona, the thought of playing against them in the Champions League could be unbearable. One alternative would be a move to the United States for one final swansong. The lifestyle on offer would certainly be attractive and Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas said in June he was “optimistic” of signing Messi, with Mas and fellow owner David Beckham said to be “working really hard” on a deal.

INTER MILAN @ 16/1

Wealthy Chinese owners helped fund Antonio Conte’s bid for Serie A and Europa League glory, with Romelu Lukaku, Christian Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez among their high-profile recruits. The Nerazzurri were rewarded by winning the Italian title last season and will be determined to build on that success. Bringing Messi to Milan may make the difference in trying to stay ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus.

JUVENTUS @ 25/1

Fiat founders the Agnelli family pulled off an incredible coup when capturing Ronaldo from Real Madrid and teaming him up with Messi at club level is fantasy football material. More likely, though, would be for Ronaldo to switch elsewhere, with PSG rumoured to be a possible destination, and Messi brought in to adequately fill the void.

MAN UTD @ 33/1

United have already indicated this summer that they are willing to spend big with their capture of Jadon Sancho and the business-minded hierarchy at Old Trafford could see this as a savvy short-term option, with Messi’s arrival sure to spark an influx of cash in shirt sales, other merchandise and sponsorship deals.

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