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Manchester City transfer news: Lionel Messi’s chances of staying at Barcelona rated at 50-50

Lionel Messi
(Image credit: PA)

Lionel Messi has a 50-50 chance of leaving Barcelona this summer, according to reports.

The Argentina international attempted to depart the Camp Nou before the start of this season.

However, Barcelona stood firm and ultimately kept hold of their all-time leading scorer against his wishes.

Messi will definitely be permitted to seek pastures new if he chooses to this summer.

The 33-year-old is under contract in Catalonia until June 30, and he has been free to hold discussions with non-La Liga clubs since January.

Messi was said to be waiting for the outcome of last Sunday’s presidential election before making a decision.

Joan Laporta won the vote to become the permanent successor to Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Laporta previously served as Barca president between 2003 and 2010, and he stated during the campaign that he was the only candidate capable of persuading Messi to stay put.

"I have a great relationship with Leo and he will consider whatever proposal I make," he said before the election. 

"If I don't win, I am sure that Leo will not stay at Barcelona. Messi will weigh up the offer we make him. 

“I'm convinced that if the other candidates win, Messi will not remain at Barcelona.”

However, according to Cadena Ser there is still a 50 per cent chance that the Argentine will be plying his trade elsewhere next season.

PSG and Manchester City remain the most likely destinations, with Messi keen to continue playing in Europe for another two years.

After that, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is reportedly eyeing a stint in MLS with Inter Miami, the club part-owned by David Beckham.

Messi and Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League by PSG on Wednesday.

A 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes was not sufficient for Barcelona to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg.

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