Chelsea positioning themselves for first dibs on Messi

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If anyone in the world would have a handle on Lionel Messi’s future plans, beyond the man himself and his circle of advisors, you’d think it would be Pep Guardiola.

The new Manchester City manager spent four seasons in charge of the Argentine at Barcelona, winning three La Liga titles and two Champions League medals in that time.

When Guardiola was unveiled in Citzen Sky Blue earlier this week the inevitable question about signing his former forward cropped up. “Signing Messi is impossible. He will finish his career at Barcelona,” was the Spaniard’s response.

Clearly impossible is nothing for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has stirred up rumours of signing the footballing sensation just days after Guardiola’s comments by entertaining Messi’s father on his yacht.

According to the Sun, that meeting has taken place in the past 10 days and could see a fee north of £100m forked out to bring Messi to Stamford Bridge.

The elephant in the room here is the Barcelona star’s recent tax fraud case, in which he was sentenced to 21 months jail time.

It’s highly unlikely the 29-year-old will actually serve any of that time behind bars, but could be the catalyst for his Catalan departure, so The Sun say.

Should Messi decide to quite the Nou Camp over a lack of support from his employers during his time in court, then Chelsea’s meetings with Messi senior would place them in pole position to offer an escape route.

We currently make the Blues the 11/2 third favourites to win the Premier League this season. But if by some miracle Messi is on board before the transfer window shuts, then that price will tumble pretty fast.

Chelsea’s campaign gets underway against West Ham and we go 8/13 about Antonio Conte’s new club getting a win.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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