Barcelona star Lionel Messi is now just 7/4 to join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City revolution next summer, and that’s the shortest he’s ever been for an end-of-season switch to the Etihad.
It’s reported that the Citizens are willing to spend in excess of £200m to land the four-time Ballon d’Or winner when this campaign comes to an end.
The 29-year-old has grown unsettled at the Camp Nou in recent months, and it’s likely he’ll team up with his old boss Guardiola in Manchester should the Catalan giants fail to reach an agreement over his wage demands.
Unless Barca can tie Messi down to a new deal, any club can exploit the Argentine’s current contract, in which there is a buy-out clause for £216m. And that’s something the club would have to accept, especially given that they could potentially lose him for nothing in 2018 when his deal expires.
Although they topped the La Liga table last campaign, Barcelona have struggled this time out and are currently four points off Real Madrid, despite Messi netting eight goals in nine games.
And, quite simply, it’s frightening to think what Pep could achieve with Messi in his ranks, teaming up with the likes of David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero in what would be arguably the strongest offensive unit in Premier League history.
It was their rivals across the city that smashed the world record transfer fee in the summer. But the blue half of Manchester could end up more than doubling what Man United paid for Paul Pogba, were they to secure Messi’s services.
Granted, it’s unlikely he’ll move half-way through the season, especially with both City and Barca chasing the Champions League.
But if contract talks continue to stall between the Argentine and his current employers, we may well see that 7/4 continue to fall between now and the end of the season, as the two sides prepare for the biggest transfer of all-time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing