Manchester City completing a sensational transfer for Barcelona legend Lionel Messi would benefit Kevin de Bruyne, but could be bad news for Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden. That’s the belief of ESPN pundit Alejandro Moreno, who predicted that Silva and Foden would likely be relegated to the bench if Messi arrives.
City are still in limbo over their pursuit of Messi.
Despite the Argentine’s transfer request, Barcelona are still adamant that he won’t be sold this summer, and claim a team would have to pay his £636million release clause.
Pep Guardiola’s side are desperate to sign him, and believe they can agree a deal with the Catalans, and will reportedly pay up to £150m to do so.
Messi failed to turn up to Barcelona pre-season training two days in a row, and doesn’t consider himself to be part of the squad.
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That’s because of a previous clause in his contract, which allowed him to leave for free at the end of any season – a clause which Barca claim expired in June.
City had a strong end to the season despite missing out on the Premier League title, with results including a 4-0 win over champions Liverpool.
Foden, in particular, shone after the Premier League’s restart, and bagged five goals and an assist in nine appearances.
But Moreno warned the youngster that his first-team chances would take a major hit next season if Messi joins.
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Speaking to ESPN FC, he analysed the impact the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would have on three City players – De Bruyne, Silva and Foden.
“Will Kevin de Bruyne’s role change? No, I don’t think so,” Moreno said.
“I think he’ll actually get more opportunity to get forward.
“Lionel Messi has shown in the last couple of years that he’s dropped into more of a playmaker role, so De Bruyne and his passing only adds to that.
“Then, he can also play runs off whoever is playing the centre-forward position, and maybe he can be more of a presence in the attacking 18-yard box as well, because he doesn’t have to do all the passing – Lionel Messi can do it for him.
“For Silva and Foden, it’s a different conversation for both of them.
“Foden will be on the bench, Bernardo Silva will also be coming off the bench as well.
“He’ll have to play better than he did this last year.”
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