Chelsea transfers: Insider claims Lionel Messi ‘open’ to Barcelona exit
Guillem Balague says Lionel Messi could consider a transfer away from Barcelona in the future
Chelsea have been given a boost in their reported pursuit of Lionel Messi after Spanish football expert Guillem Balague revealed that the Argentina superstar is “open” to the idea of moving to the Premier League.
The Blues have been touted as a possible destination for the 27-year-old in recent days as his future at Barcelona remains a source of speculation.
Messi, who is currently sidelined due to a knee injury, is said to be frustrated with his recent off-field issues, with the forward due to face trial for alleged tax fraud.
And Balague has revealed that Messi’s stance over his future appears to have changed in recent months amid the recent reported interest from Premier League clubs.
Balague told Sky Sports: “He’s been there [Barcelona] a long time, it’s his life, he’s got it all set up there…But the fact that one of the reported clubs approached him and his representatives twice in the last week suggests something is going on.
“The receptions have been interesting because it has been like ‘OK, we are listening, what do you have to say?’. It doesn’t mean he is coming, but it means he is more open to the idea, which you couldn’t have said two or three years ago.
“How to convince Messi goes beyond what you can do money wise. It has be a project to win, perhaps with a manager that he would be comfortable with.
“He is in a situation where he is very unhappy with the tax case and also maybe has a new maturity with two kids where perhaps he wants to learn another language.
“It’s a few things that make the proposition attractive, but doesn’t mean he is going to go.”
Messi’s Barcelona contract is set to expire in 2017 and has a reported buyout clause of €250m. The player has publicly stated his desire to retire at Barcelona in the past.