Lionel Messi has reportedly chosen his club after Koeman talk
Could Messi and Pep be about to reunite?
Lionel Messi has chosen Manchester City as the club he wants to play for next, after telling Barcelona that he intends to leave the club after almost 20 years.
According to Marcelo Bechler, the journalist who first broke the news of Messi's desire to leave this summer, the Argentine has identified Pep Guardiola's project at Man City as his next destination.
Bechler is considered a reliable source in matter relating to Barcelona, and was also the first reporter to break the news that Neymar would leave the club for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Messi quer jogar no Manchester City. Trata a saída do Barcelona como algo que dói na alma, mas o fim de um ciclo pic.twitter.com/FVMPDvB7Go
— Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) August 26, 2020
According to Bechler, Messi and his former manager have already been in contact regarding the move, and it is understood - understandably - that City are prepared to do all they can to make the deal happen.
Messi is understood to be attracted by the City project and the attractive and intricate style of football they play.
Bechler says that there remains no clear information on what sort of fee Messi might command, due to the level of disagreement between player and club over whether his annual clause which allows him to leave for free at a certain point has expired.
That clause, which expires after the Champions League final every year, expired in June 2020 according to Barcelona. But, from Messi's point of view, the postponement of the season due to coronavirus and the subsequent extension means that the expiry of the clause was also extended.
The player was pushed over the edge after meeting with new manager Ronald Koeman, according to a report from Argentine news outlet Diario Olé.
It is thought that Koeman told Messi that his 'privileges' would no longer be indulged, and that he was going to be "inflexible," prioritising the needs of the collective after years of pandering to his demands.
The manager's words are thought to have been the final straw for Messi, who has felt let down by the club during his peak years.