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So the story is that Suarez will be allowed to leave as a free agent and Barca will also try to get rid of Rakitic and Vidal and sign van de Beek.

Sounds like Koeman might become the new Van Gaal. :D
 

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van Gaal's Barca were good fun. Star quality with Rivaldo and Figo. Some good Dutch players (Cocu, De Boer, Kluivert, Zenden) and Catalans (Sergi, Guardiola, Ferrer, Celades then Xavi and Puyol later). Won back-to-back Liga titles.
 

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Although no official announcements, some are reporting that he's leaving.

Hope it's not Man City, although for him it would make sense. A Messi-De Bruyne tandem is scary.

The neutral in me would like him in Serie A. Messi vs Ronaldo would obviously be great for the league (if he joined Inter).

PSG would be a bit Man City-esque. Could see Real Madrid breaking the bank for Mbappe with Messi going to PSG... imagine the number of goals he'll score in Ligue 1.
 

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You mean average Dutch
van Gaal's Barca were good fun. Star quality with Rivaldo and Figo. Some good Dutch players (Cocu, De Boer, Kluivert, Zenden) and Catalans (Sergi, Guardiola, Ferrer, Celades then Xavi and Puyol later). Won back-to-back Liga titles.
Average Dutch, rather. :D The Dream Team Catalans were sort of done, Xavi and Puyol not really off the ground yet. Figo and Rivaldo were class though, of course.
 

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I feel Pep might not want to get Messi to go to City as not to upset Barca fans... or at least I hope so for selfish reasons.. :D
 

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Why Inter have Messi 'advantage' over Man City
Football Italia
4 Hours Ago

Mundo Deportivo claim that Inter ‘have a clear advantage over PSG, Manchester City and Manchester United’ in the race to sign Lionel Messi because of a tax law.

The club legend sent a fax today demanding he be released from his contract a year early as a free agent, although Barcelona maintain the clause allowing that has expired.

If he does leave, then there are only a select number of European clubs who can afford to pay his wages.

“Inter have a clear advantage over PSG, Manchester City and Manchester United, which is Italy’s taxation laws,” wrote Mundo Deportivo writer Francesc Aguilar on Twitter.

“Inter could deal with the transfer operation more easily and Leo would have fewer taxes to pay than in Spain or England.”

Messi famously was involved in a tax evasion scandal and trial involving his father in 2016.

Messi’s father Jorge purchased a luxury apartment in the centre of Milan a couple of months ago, prompting Gazzetta dello Sport speculation that the player would soon follow.

That wasn’t just a real estate deal, it allowed Jorge Messi to register Italy as his main residence, which in turn means he can benefit from the tax law meant to encourage foreign investment in the country.
This was cited as one of the reasons Cristiano Ronaldo chose to leave Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018.

Meanwhile, RMC Sport in France are confident the only candidates who can genuinely sign Messi are Inter and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

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Reports: Messi spoke to Man City
Football Italia

4 Hours Ago

Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu denies he has resigned, while reports in Spain, England and Italy push Leo Messi closer to Manchester City than Inter, even suggesting he called Pep Guardiola.

Messi sent a fax to the club today demanding a transfer as a free agent, although Barcelona insist the clause allowing that has already expired.

Suggestions in Argentina claimed this was largely a ploy to force President Bartomeu into resigning, which certainly got the base riled up, as there are tonight furious protests outside Camp Nou calling for his head.
However, Bartomeu told Sport this evening that he has not resigned and is not inclined to call an election until March 2021.

Meanwhile, Sky Sport Italia transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio insists that he asked his Inter sources many times about the Messi approach and they are simply not actively working on it.

At the same time, Spanish sources RAC1, Cadena Ser and El Larguero all claim Messi spoke to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola over the last few days to ask about a possible transfer.

The same story is backed by David Ornstein of The Athletic, Tuttomercatoweb in Italy and more.

Inter would have a huge advantage over Manchester City, specifically the taxation law in Italy allowing expats to pay a tiny percentage on foreign income.

City also only just avoided Champions League exclusion under Financial Fair Play rules and have to be careful going forward with massive expenses.
 

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There are reports saying City is his choice.

What will be interesting to see is the money involved. There is a clause regarding leaving on a free transfer, but supposedly this expired, so the 700 million buyout clause is still valid. Of course, City won't pay 700 million and it would seem unthinkable that Barca would let him go for free, so I suppose there is some middle ground that can be reached between all parties in which Barca get paid.
 

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A shame Stoke aren't in the Prem next season. So if we have a midweek evening fixture (ideally a Wednesday) with inclement weather, I think the closest thing for a true litmus test of Messi's credentials would be away to Burnley.
 

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There are reports saying City is his choice.

What will be interesting to see is the money involved. There is a clause regarding leaving on a free transfer, but supposedly this expired, so the 700 million buyout clause is still valid. Of course, City won't pay 700 million and it would seem unthinkable that Barca would let him go for free, so I suppose there is some middle ground that can be reached between all parties in which Barca get paid.
if City doesn't win the CL finally, then Pep must go...lol

Lets see how Messi does on a cold rainy Monday night in Burnley or wherever. Have a feeling he'll be missing the weather in Spain very fast.

If he does leave, Barca will go down in flames, I love it!

#halamadrid
 

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I'd like to see him move, tbh. I obviously think Inter would be the best of the rumoured destinations...but between City, Man Utd and PSG, I think City would be the best.

Where's The Green One?
 

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I'd like to see him move, tbh. I obviously think Inter would be the best of the rumoured destinations...but between City, Man Utd and PSG, I think City would be the best.

Where's The Green One?
Lost forever, like Rob, like many other people...
 

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C'mon Toni, there's no such thing as lost forever...the only thing that's forever is Xtratime. A famous philosopher once said that.
 
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