MESSI adds to the speculation of a £200m move to Chelsea



Barcelona forward Lionel Messi seems to be spending an awful lot of time in London lately with his good friend Cesc Fabregas adding to the rumours that the Argentinian international could look to move away from the Nou Camp this summer.

The former teammates grew up together at Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, so it may just be a case of friends hanging out with their girlfriends after they were seen leaving Mayfair’s exclusive Colony Club casino on Sunday night, and then again on Monday at Harrods in Knightsbridge where they had pizza at a restaurant inside the famous store that is now owned by the Qatari royal family.

Back in January the talk was that Messi was not getting along with trainer Luis Enrique, and that the hounding by the Spanish tax authorities had him considering moving abroad.

At the time the 27-year-old quashed the rumours by telling Barca TV: “I don’t demand anything for me to stay because I have no intention of leaving anywhere.”

“I’ve heard stories I’ve spoken to Chelsea or City, that’s all lies. I have taken this chance to deny it so that everyone knows the truth. I am grateful to be able to give my version of events.”

He then did a complete U-turn at the Ballon D’Or ceremony when he said: “I don’t know where I will be next season.”

“I would like to finish with Newell’s [the club from his hometown of Rosario]. As Cristiano Ronaldo says, only God knows the future. Things in football can change overnight.”

Then just yesterday Barcelona’s international sporting director Ariedo Braida hinted that the club might not be able to hang onto Messi if Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain made an approach for him telling Catalan TV channel Esport 3: “I believe it’s very difficult that Messi will leave Barca but at times in football strange things happen.

“Now with these clubs that have so much money like (Manchester) City and PSG, certain amounts don’t seem to have a value. In football things happen that appear impossible but I hope he will remain.”

All this speculation has not put the Argentinian off his game though scoring 30 goals with 14 assists in La Liga play alone this season to fire Barcelona back to the top of the table after Real Madrid’s shock defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night.

Strange things happen in the world of football, with Chelsea certainly given the clubs owners connections able to raise the kind of cash it would take to bring Messi to Stamford Bridge in the summer should they so desire to do so, and as to where the world’s best player will be next season I guess we will just have to wait a little longer to find out.