Lionel Messi BARCELONA, SPAIN – JANUARY 26: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Malaga CF at Camp Nou on January 26, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Where will Lionel Messi go?

Lionel Messi has been in the Barcelona system since he was 13. Over the years, the relationship between player and club have seen its ups and downs. Recently, there have been rumors that Messi wants to leave Barcelona and while he signed a long-term deal and we at 32 Flags have talked about the unlikelihood of Messi leaving Barcelona. Now, the rumors have hit a fever pitch.

Now, with the uncertainty of Lionel Messi and Barcelona, where will he end up? With Financial Fair Play considerations, there really isn’t too many teams who could pay the exorbitant couple million pound transfer fee. And those teams who can make the move would still have to make sacrifices in order to stay within FFP. Even though every team could use Messi, only a few teams can go for him. Here are the likely places.



Chelsea is the strong choice for Lionel Messi if he decided to leave Barcelona. Chelsea has turned a profit this past year and would definitely be interested. They may have to go without spending for a year to make up for the payment but going a year without signing anyone and adding one of the best players in the world won’t hurt Chelsea.

32 Flags odds Messi arrives at Chelsea: 10/1


Manchester City

There hasn’t really been much in the news about Manchester City signing Lionel Messi but out of all the teams in the world, Man City would likely be the only other team, with Chelsea, who could afford Messi and potentially violate FFP. With the Frank Lampard situation, we found out that Lampard signed a deal with City Football Group and isn’t an NYCFC player. While it gets rather murky and not clear how player salaries are divided, it was said that expenses have been put together and redistributed back to the four teams within City Football Group. So this means that the financial impact of bringing on Messi will be less than other teams. We just haven’t seen much indicating Man City even trying to go after Messi.

32 Flags odds Messi arrives at Manchester City: 50/1



If we were to go by Occam’s Razor, it would suggest that Messi is staying at Barcelona. Lionel Messi is a “once in a lifetime” player, you can bet Barcelona will do all they can to keep him. While there has been a potential “falling out” between Messi and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, Barcelona stated that they are holding a special election this summer. This ensures that Messi is staying until the summer. The election will be a test to see who stays and who goes between Messi and Enrique.

32 Flags odds Messi stays at Barcelona: 1/2

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(EuroSport/Goal/BBC/The Guardian)

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp