Barca chiefs ‘expect’ Man City transfer as they pick Lionel Messi replacement

Barcelona chiefs reportedly expect Lionel Messi to join Manchester City this summer.

Messi wants out of Barcelona having grown increasingly frustrated at the club following a disappointing season for the Catalan giants.

They were beaten to the La Liga title by Real Madrid and humiliated in the Champions League, losing 8-2 to Bayern Munich.

Messi has been linked with a move to City, which would see him reunite with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.

And The Telegraph report that senior figures at the Nou Camp expect that move to happen with Barcelona preparing for life without the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

It’s claimed that the La Liga outfit are looking at potential replacements for Messi, including Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.

Messi has spent his whole career at Barcelona but told the club of his decision to leave last week.

He had hoped to be able to leave on a free due to a clause in his contract though Barcelona are expected to demand a fee for any deal.

  • Lionel Messi refuses to attend Barcelona Covid-19 testing on Sunday after transfer demand

Barca players were expected to return to the club on Sunday for coronavirus testing though there was no sign of Messi.

Former Barca assistant Juan Carlos Unzue, who served as goalkeeping coach before working as No 2 to Luis Enrique between 2014 and 2017, wants Messi to join City.

"On one hand, if he leaves Barcelona, I would love that he goes to remember old times with people he already knows and has felt a shared success with," he told Stats Perform News.

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"I hope he goes to Manchester City; I say this sincerely. I am sure his decision will be very tough.

"Also, I am sure he keeps a great memory of that period with Pep because everyone has grown up alongside Pep.

"This is a reality, not just the players but everyone who has worked in the staff too. I speak for myself, but I have felt and heard that from others."

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