Chelsea have emerged as surprise contenders to sign Lionel Messi on a free transfer when his contract with Barcelona expires next summer, according to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
The saga surrounding the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was without a doubt the central transfer story of the 2020 summer transfer window. He wanted to leave the Catalan club and made no secret of it, and he wanted to leave as a free agent. His contract does not expire before the end of June 2021, but he was calling upon a release clause set in the deal which allowed him to leave for free after each season. However, Barcelona maintained the stance that the said clause had expired and they refused to let him go for anything that his standard buyout clause, set at €700 million.
Messi decided against taking the matter to court and stayed put, but come next summer, there will be no way to stop his departure from the Camp Nou should he refuse to sign a new contract. While Manchester City are the club linked with the 33-year-old Argentinian superstar the most, it seems Chelsea could come in and steal the show.
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