Will O'Callaghan
Will O'Callaghan

18.51 28 Aug 2020


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Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville thinks Barcelona will convince Leo Messi to make a u-turn and stay at the club this summer. 

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner signalled his intent to leave Camp Nou after 20-years by informing the club's board of his decision by registered letter earlier this week.

Messi is hoping to use a clause in his contract to move on a free transfer but Barcelona insist that clubs would need to pay his 700-million Euro release clause in order for a switch to occur.

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Manchester City are reportedly keen to sign the Argentine captain and re-unite him with his former boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium but Nevill thinks City could miss out on a deal.

“I think it’s politics and power struggle,” the ex-England defender told Sky Sports. “Messi is flexing his muscles. It’s probably a bit more than that, but I think that is where it will end up in the end.

“The idea that Barcelona will lose this player and he doesn’t finish his career there seems unbelievable to me. Does he really want to leave? Maybe. But when push comes to shove and he’s got to meet with the president, the board and everyone else standing in his way, I think he will end up staying.

“But if he were to come to the Premier League, I think it would be to work with Pep Guardiola. Would I want to see it? I think I would have to say yes, because the idea of watching Messi close up, something I have done over the last 10 years, is something to behold.

“Would I want to stand in the way of every single young fan in this country having the opportunity to him at close hand when fans are back in stadiums, no I wouldn’t. But I just hope he doesn’t do very well for them!”


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