Serie A

'Messi already has a new club - Inter'

Josep Maria Minguella, a key figure in bringing Messi to Barcelona, believes the Argentine has made up his mind about his next destination

 
12:32pm on Wednesday 26th August 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Josep Maria Minguella, the former agent and coach of Barcelona who instigated Lionel Messi's move from Argentina at just 13, believes Inter have already won the race to sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

On Tuesday, Messi sent shockwaves through European football when he requested to leave Barcelona after a 20-year association with the club via a fax.

The Argentine has become disillusioned with life at Barcelona over the past year, with the Blaugrana losing La Liga to Real Madrid and then being humiliated by Bayern in the quarter-final of the Champions League, suffering an 8-2 loss.

It was after that particular result that the rumours intensified, with new head coach Ronald Koeman keen to sit down with the player to discuss his future.

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And on Tuesday night Messi communicated to the club that he wanted to be released from his contract. Inter, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City are believed to be leading the race for his signature if he does indeed decide to leave Camp Nou.

And Minguella believes that the Nerazzurri will be his new club.

"For me, Messi already has a team: Inter", he told Cadena COPE.

"In Italy, they pay less taxes and, in fact, there is Cristiano Ronaldo. It is harder for me to see him in England, no matter how much his friend [Sergio] Aguero and [Pep] Guardiola are at [Manchester] City.

"Now in Italy, they are trying to revitalise the world of football with great signings and have these advantages in the contracts of football players."

The former Barcelona president nominee thinks the Catalan side now need to start preparing for life without their greatest ever player.

"What Barca has to do is rethink the situation," he added.

"If with Leo Messi they didn't know where the team's course was going to go, imagine [it] without him."

Messi currently has a release clause of €700m, but previously had a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free this summer which expired at the end of May. However, he and his associates argue that, because the league was extended due to the worldwide pandemic, the clause remains.

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