Lionel Messi should “stick two fingers up” at Barcelona and sign for their bitter El Clasico rivals Real Madrid, according to former Chelsea and Scotland midfielder Craig Burley. Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club following the first occasion in 12 years where they have finished a campaign without a trophy. The Argentina star believes he should be allowed to leave the club for free due to a clause in his contract allowing him to do so at the end of a campaign – though Barca dispute the clause is no longer active due to the delayed conclusion to the 2019/20 season.
Manchester City are favourites to sign Messi, which would provide the attacker with a reunion with his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
But Burley has suggested a stunning move to the Bernabeu to play for Real instead.
However, the ESPN FC pundit admits there is a very small chance of that happening.
“Go to Real Madrid! How big would that be?” Burley said.
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“I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t support Madrid, I don’t support Barcelona, I don’t support anybody – so I don’t care.
“Stick two fingers up at [Barcelona]! Go to [Madrid]. Can you imagine?
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“I know I’m being a little facetious here but would Madrid fans accept him? Surely they would.
“Wasn’t it Luis Figo who went the other way? But this is Messi, that’s about not even a one percent chance of happening what I’ve just thrown out there. But I’m intrigued.”
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As well as City, Burley believes Manchester United is a realistic destination for Messi.
The Scot claims United have the financial resources to pull off such a deal.
“If you look at the clubs that have got the finances to do it, Manchester City, Chelsea have spent big already, Man United have the clout,” Burley added.
“There is no doubt about it, Manchester United have the financial clout and the pedigree to go after a player like this.
“Now, from their point of view, they’re trying to peg this huge gap back to Liverpool and City – what a statement that would be.
“I just don’t know how all the finances would add up but believe me, Manchester United easily have the clout to pull this off.
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