Manchester City are joint-favourites to sign Barcelona captain Lionel Messi during the summer transfer window.
Speculation over the future of a player who many regard as the greatest of all-time has continued to spiral during the 2020/2021 season.
Despite almost single-handedly carrying the Catalan giants to another La Liga charge, Messi and Barcelona were ultimately upstaged by Atletico Madrid and a striker who they deemed surplus to requirements last summer; Luis Suarez.
His good friend and former teammate Messi was granted early leave by Ronald Koeman ahead of the final day – fuelling question marks over his future.
Messi has yet to sign a new contract, meanwhile, although the sensational Argentine forward, 33, has hinted that his commitment to the cause remains unaffected.
He told Diario Ole : “The truth is that the Copa del Rey [trophy] was special due to the period we were in. The club has gone a couple of years of not having a great time due to different results and titles. Because it is a very young dressing room, with a lot of people, and new people, and this Copa del Rey was a turning point, very important.”
On the back of Messi handing in a transfer request back in August, former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola was linked with a swoop – as were big-spending French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.
However, the suggestion since then – and the re-election of president Joan Laporta – is that Messi would stay put with a club where he has won 10 league titles and four Champions Leagues.
Guardiola’s side are preparing for the end of an era themselves in attacking quarters, with Sergio Aguero heading into his final days as a City player after a hugely-successful decade at the Etihad Stadium.
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Lionel Messi: Next club betting odds (SkyBet)
Manchester City – 2/1
Paris Saint-Germain – 2/1
Any MLS side – 16/1
Inter Milan – 16/1
Manchester United – 20/1
Juventus – 25/1
*Odds were correct at 1.30pm on Sunday, May 23.