Sensational reports have claimed that Juventus are keen on landing Lionel Messi and uniting him with generational rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Italy.
Capitalising on the FC Barcelona star’s recent fall-out with sporting director Eric Abidal, the Ballon d’Or winner can walk on a free this summer and Tuttosport allege that the Serie A giants, along with Inter Milan, believe it is possible to lure the 32-year-old away from the Camp Nou.
Making the front page of the Italian sport daily’s Tuesday print edition, its Catalan counterpart SPORT have picked up on the story and make the assertion that it has been buoyed by comments made by former Barça director Ariedo Braida on the matter.
‘Messi is an extraordinary player,” said Braida. “I think he’s happy in Barcelona, living with his family. He’s been there since he was 13, so it’s hard to imagine him leaving, but [it’s] not impossible. They [Messi and Ronaldo] are such great players that a good coach could make it work. Messi and Cristiano could play together. As a Milan fan, I would prefer to see him at AC Milan, but Juve and Inter are the two teams that could sign him,” it was concluded.
Picking up megastars such as Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Dani Alves without handing over a single penny to their former clubs, Juve’s business acumen is renowned in the industry and, while backed by the Fiat-owning Agnelli family, they would be able to meet the 32-year-old’s salary demands.
Desperate to win one last Champions League, it has been strongly suggested that the Argentine may be forced to look elsewhere if the Blaugrana are unable to help him deliver the big-eared trophy in his twilight years.
The Old Lady often among the favourites in UEFA’s showpiece club tournament since making the final in 2015 and 2017, these two falls at the last hurdle ironically came to Messi’s Barça and Ronaldo’s Real Madrid respectively.
Logically, then, the mouthwatering prospect of having them both on the same team instantly reduces the chances of being topped by an outfit containing either one, in addition to representing a marketing dream.
Also linked are Manchester City, whose coach Pep Guardiola has said: “He is a player from Barcelona and he will stay there, that’s my wish for him to stay there.”
“I’m not going to talk about players playing for other clubs. I think he will finish his career there, that’s my wish,” it was added. Elsewhere however, some corners of the English media have gone out on a limb by alleging that Messi’s former coach during the Tiki-taka dynasty has done this with a view to a reunification with him in Turin once the current Premier League campaign has drawn to a close.