Senior Barcelona figures expect Lionel Messi to join Manchester City
If Lionel Messi manages to leave Barcelona this summer, then Premier League giants Manchester City are the favorites to land the Argentine.
According to a report in The Telegraph, senior figures at Barcelona are expecting Messi to join City.
The report adds that Barcelona are looking for potential replacements for the legend.
Here we analyze how Messi might end up at City.
Messi requests personal meeting with Barcelona hierarchy
According to a report in Sky Sports, Messi has requested a personal meeting with the Barcelona hierarchy to discuss about his transfer request.
Messi wants his lawyers to be present with the intention of finding a way out of the impasse over his contract clause and exiting the club this summer.
The scenario surrounding Messi and Barcelona
Things are uncertain as far Messi's departure from Barcelona is concerned.
He has one year left to run in his contract.
The report adds that Messi and his representatives think there is a clause in his contract which means he can leave for nothing this summer.
However, Barca won't allow him to leave for free as there is a release clause of 700m euros.
Analyzing the ideal situation for everyone involved
Barcelona want to keep Messi but will they go ahead against his wishes?
Keeping an unhappy player against his will by not relenting on the release clause could create further issues.
Moreover, no club can pay that amount.
The ideal solution would be if the club sat down with a suitor and sorted out a price that would enable a deal to take place.
Messi handed in a transfer request
Recently, Messi handed in a transfer request, saying that he wants to leave the club after plying his trade for close to two decades.
Messi's announcement came 11 days after Barcelona's humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarters.
It was a difficult season for Barca in which Messi also called the team weak after La Liga ended.
Messi wants to join Manchester City
Messi and Man City manager Pep Guardiola want to renew their partnership.
This has put City in a prime position to land the Argentine.
The club's position in terms of finance could aid the move as well.
Besides City, the likes of Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen to get Messi.
However, Messi's desire is to join the Premier League club.
Messi's presence will be massive for Man City
It would be exciting to see Messi in the Premier League. His presence will lift the mood as well.
With City also looking a fine fit for Messi's style of play, the match could suit both the player and the club.
Liverpool beat City to the EPL title last season, but Messi's arrival could spice things up and make City the favorites in 2020-21.
Messi and Guardiola desperate for Champions League success
Messi last won the Champions League in 2014-15 and the manner of defeats over the last five seasons have hurt him.
Meanwhile, Guardiola hasn't won the Champions League since leaving Barcelona.
He failed to win the trophy at Bayern across three seasons and now the problems have continued at City.
For both Messi and Guardiola, the UCL trophy is what matters most.