LIONEL MESSI is seriously considering a ‘fresh start’ at Manchester City next summer.
Barca’s ace confided in Argentina team-mates about his future during the international break.
And Messi is torn over signing a new contract at the Nou Camp or beginning a new chapter in his career in Manchester.
Negotiations with Barca have been ongoing for 18 months but the deal remains unsigned.
City officials have met with Messi’s representatives on several occasions — making it clear they want him.
The 30-year-old is out of contract at Barca next summer and could sign for City in January and join for free in July.
City are understood to have offered a £40million signing-on fee and a five-year deal worth over £500,000 per week.
Messi has told friends he is unconvinced about Barca’s long-term plan after Neymar’s exit and the appointment of Ernesto Valverde as coach.
Political upheaval in Catalonia which followed the recent unofficial referendum vote has also forced Messi to consider his next career move.
It is understood that he is uncomfortable with the common assumption that he should champion the cause for Catalonian independence even though he’s not a Spanish citizen.
Latest Man City news
Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, is believed to have agreed commercial and image rights contracts but they’re not binding unless Leo signs a new playing contract.
Pep Guardiola and City’s hierarchy expect Messi to sign up to finish his career at the Nou Camp.
However there is also a feeling that if he was to move City could pull off arguably the biggest transfer of all time by recruiting Messi for free next summer.
And City hero Sergio Aguero says he would love to team up with his pal Messi at the Etihad.
Aguero said: “Money isn’t a problem here.
“I would love to have Leo on my team but it also seems quite complicated. Messi is like Ronaldo — they are players who are symbols of their clubs and it’s difficult for them to leave.”
most read in football
‘Ronaldo vs Neymar’: Real Madrid draw PSG in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs go head-to-head… and Twitter loves it
REAL MADRID will play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs were drawn against each other. The reigning European champions will now need to go up against fearsome trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani after Friday’s exciting draw. Elsewhere, Chelsea will face Barcelona, Liverpool take on Porto, Manchester […]
REAL MADRID will play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs were drawn against each other.
The reigning European champions will now need to go up against fearsome trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani after Friday’s exciting draw.
Real Madrid were always set to face a tougher draw than they’re used to, after slipping to second in their group.
Zinedine Zidane’s Los Blancos finished behind Tottenham in Group H, after dropping EIGHT points on the way.
Meanwhile, PSG edged Bayern Munich to top spot in Group B, both of whom earned 15 points out of a possible 18.
Real Madrid vs PSG looks set to be an astonishing tie, after the Ligue 1 giants set the new record for goals in a group stage, with 25.
The draw now means one of the tournament favourites will be going home early, opening the door for one of England’s FIVE clubs to go all the way.
AU’S THAT? Inside the extravagant world of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang… set to bring his talent, and ‘Batmobile’, to Chelsea
However, it was the worst possible morning for Chelsea, who – after slumping to second in their group – ended up drawing Barcelona in the last-16.
Liverpool and Manchester City enjoyed seemingly favourable draws though – going up against Porto and Basel respectively.
MORE FOOTBALL FEATURES
Tottenham meanwhile face a tricky tie against Italian giants Juventus.
Manchester United will go up against Sevilla, who finished second in their group, behind Liverpool.
Full Champions League last-16 draw
Juventus vs TOTTENHAM
Basel vs MAN CITY
Porto vs LIVERPOOL
Sevilla vs MAN UNITED
Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma
CHELSEA vs Barcelona
Bayern Munich vs Besiktas
Europa League draw: Live stream, TV channel, start time, seedings and Arsenal and Celtic’s possible knockout stage opponents
ARSENAL secured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade over a month ago. And now the Arsene Wenger’s side will finally find out their last 32 opponents. A wide range of opponents are available to the Gunners, from an intimidating trip to Dortmund to […]
ARSENAL secured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade over a month ago.
And now the Arsene Wenger’s side will finally find out their last 32 opponents.
A wide range of opponents are available to the Gunners, from an intimidating trip to Dortmund to a match against minnows Ostersund or Ludogorets.
They will also be joined by Celtic, who finished a distant third behind PSG and Bayern Munich in arguably the Champions League’s toughest group.
When is the Europa League draw?
The Europa League draw will take place on Monday, December 11 at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
It will commence at 12pm UK time, or 1pm CET.
What TV channel is the Europa League draw on?
The Europa League draw will be live on BT Sport.
Who could Arsenal and Celtic face in the last 32?
This season’s Europa League is set to be a lot tougher than the tournament won by Manchester United last year.
Arsenal can face any of the second placed teams from the 12 Europa League groups (apart from Red Star Belgrade) or the worst four third placed teams in the Champions League group stage.
Conversely, Celtic can play any of the first placed teams from the 12 Europa League groups or any of the best four third placed teams in the Champions League group stage.
Who are the seeded and unseeded teams for the Europa League draw?
Red Bull Salzburg
Zenit St Petersburg
Red Star Belgrade
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
Mikel Arteta covers his face on way to training after being hurt in Manchester derby tunnel bust-up
MIKEL ARTETA arrived for training with Manchster City covering his injured face. The City coach allegedly had a bottle thrown at him in the tunnel after yesterday’s Manchester derby. Arteta was ‘left with blood pouring down his face’ after City’s 2-1 win. More follows
MIKEL ARTETA arrived for training with Manchster City covering his injured face.
The City coach allegedly had a bottle thrown at him in the tunnel after yesterday’s Manchester derby.
Arteta was ‘left with blood pouring down his face’ after City’s 2-1 win.
Bizarre2 months ago
Bromans star Brandon Myers challenges Love Island’s Chris Hughes to penis competition saying his nine-and-a-half member is bigger
Celebrity1 month ago
Lucy Pinder looks gorgeous in pictures from her 2018 calendar
Christmas 20173 months ago
John Lewis has unveiled the top 10 toys for Christmas 2017… and they could just break the bank
Celebrity3 months ago
Who is Nermina Pieters-Mekic? New star of Real Housewives of Cheshire and wife of Stoke City ace Erik
Bizarre2 months ago
Ex-Strictly stunner Ola Jordan sizzles in red swimsuit on holiday with husband James in Greece
Celebrity3 months ago
Who is Rachel Lugo? Real Housewives of Cheshire star and property pro – what you need to know
Health3 months ago
Women will cry six times a month on average – TWICE as much as men
Money3 months ago
We reveal our guide to organising a kids birthday bash without busting your budget — plus, get a free fiver from our rewards club