Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is reportedly preparing to leave the Catalan giants with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea among those hoping to tempt the superstar into a sensational switch to the Premier League.
The Sun report Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have all made informal approaches to Messi’s representatives this week – with one club making contact twice this week.
It is reported a number of Premier League stars who are friends with Messi have attempted to convince him to move to England. Messi’s readiness to leave Barcelona has also allegedly been influenced by the recent tax troubles he is having in Catalonia.
The 28-year-old and his father Jorge are facing trial over an alleged £3.1m tax fraud that could see the Argentina captain serve a 22 month jail term. Messi’s current Barcelona contract is due to expire in June 2018 and has a buyout clause of €250million in it.
A knee ligament injury is currently keeping Messi out of the Barcelona team, but he is refusing to put a timescale on his return.
He said: “I am improving every day without setting myself any targets. I have always said that I don’t set myself any dates because it isn’t up to me.
“As much as I would like to play tomorrow, the doctors wouldn’t let me. When they tell me that I have recovered completely will be the time that I will make my return onto the pitch.”