Could Chelsea really buy Barcelona’s Lionel Messi for $300 million?


As FC Barcelona continues to unravel, could Lionel Messi really leave the Catalan club for Chelsea?

That question is on the minds of many over the past 48 hours, as the Argentine ace had previously seemed untouchable to another other team in the world who had the money to sign him. But now, not so much.

[ RELATED: Bony to City; good fit? ]

Despite Barcelona’s president Josep Bartomeu saying on Wednesday that Messi is ‘not for sale’ the player himself has sparked plenty of hysteria in recent days after following Chelsea on Instagram and plenty of conspiracy theorists claiming that Adidas would help Chelsea with the funds to sign Messi, who has an endorsement with them. From that and rumors of a bust up with current under pressure Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, the Messi-to-Chelsea bandwagon has gathered momentum with the Argentine star reportedly missing training on Monday following their embarrassing defeat to Real Sociedad.

Messi, 27, apparently has a $300 million release clause in his Barcelona contract, as the man who has been at the Nou Camp since the age of 12 seems closer than ever to jumping ship. Barca are in turmoil off the pitch, as Bartomeu has called an early presidential election following the transfer ban placed on the Spanish club as they cannot buy any new players until January 2016. With Luis Suarez and Neymar to flank Messi, they should be okay. But Barca aren’t getting the best out of those aforementioned South American stars, as Messi is the focal point.

Add into that the decision by Barca to fire sports director Andoni Zubizarreta, plus the increasing concern over Messi’s future, and you have a situation spiraling out of control. But would Messi really leave?

“Messi has a contract until 2018, he is happy with the club and wants to win more titles,” Bartomeu said. “There is nothing to panic about in that regard. Messi is the central figure. The team is built around him. The whole footballing world knows that Barca don’t want to sell Messi. For me he is the best player in the world.”

Bartomeu’s words are at least slightly encouraging for Barcelona’s fans, but is Messi ready for a new challenge?

After becoming La Liga’s all-time top goalscorer, winning every trophy known to man with Barca and having plenty of issues with the taxman thrown his way after alleged mismanagement from his father, plenty of things are building up to suggest that Argentina’s captain could fancy a move elsewhere. Just like at Steven Gerrard and him leaving for Liverpool for the LA Galaxy. Did anybody think that would actually happen? Yes, Gerrard hasn’t left in his prime but he fancies a new challenge and wants to win trophies elsewhere. Maybe Messi wants to test himself in England?

[ RELATED: Man United gossip suggest title charge ]

source: Getty Images
Lionel Messi and John Terry, soon-to-be besties

If that was the case, only a few teams could afford the four-time World Player of the Year. Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are those teams, but all of them are under strict sanctions from UEFA about Financial Fair Play so splashing out $300 million on one player would surely mean huge restructuring at all three clubs. With the French league not considered among Europe’s elite, the Premier League is Messi’s most likely destination if he were ever to leave Barcelona.

Chelsea are the club most likely to sign him, but fans, pundits and journalists in England just aren’t willing to believe that Messi could be heading to Stamford Bridge. Yes, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich could find the cash to bring in one of the greatest players the world has ever seen, but will the player want to work for Jose Mourinho? Despite the Portuguese manager’s close links with Barca, his time at Real Madrid saw plenty of unsavory clashes break out between Real and Barca. But that’s just football, right? Messi will bear no grudge on Mourinho for that.

[ RELATED: Gerrard to LA confirmed ]

Also, with Eden Hazard the main man for the Blues, could he and Messi play on the same team and both have a free-role to create? It is likely that Hazard could leave for Real Madrid in a monster transfer to raise funds, if this move for Messi ever came to fruition.

One of the big question marks around Messi, and this may seem slightly crazy as he rips up La Liga on a weekly basis, is if he can handle the physicality of the Premier League and the mythical ‘wet, windy Wednesday night in Stoke.’ Stats suggest he could struggle in England. Throughout UEFA Champions League games against English opposition, Messi has scored just two goals and provided two assists in 10 matches during games he’s played in England across the UCL.

Regardless of those stats, if Messi does link up with Chelsea to partner Diego Costa in attack with Cesc Fabregas and maybe Hazard feeding balls into him, there’s no doubting that Chelsea would get an instant return on the huge amount of cash they would have to shell out to get him. Is Messi worth $300 million? No player is. But, if he’s available then the Blues should do all they can to buy him in his prime so they can build a dynasty to not only challenge for the Champions League and PL on a yearly basis, but be the outright favorites for the next five to six years.

Reports: Tottenham Hotspur to hire Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou as next manager


Multiple reports say that Ange Postecoglou will be leaving Celtic to become the next manager of Tottenham Hotspur.

Celtic had reportedly granted permission for Spurs to speak with their trophy-collecting boss, and things apparently progressed quickly as the 57-year-old looks set to oversee the club’s big rebuild.

[ MORE: Recalling Zlatan’s “unicorn” career ]

Spurs suffered through an inconsistent 2022-23 season with Antonio Conte at the helm, followed by Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason in interim stints.

Tottenham will not have European football this season and is at risk of losing legendary center forward Harry Kane. The club has eight players including Kane going into the final year of their contracts, including Ivan Perisic, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, and Hugo Lloris.

Spurs finished eighth last season, 15 points off the top four despite spending much of the season inside of it. The club’s finished fourth just once in the past four seasons despite qualifying for the Champions League the previous four seasons.

Ironically, Celtic is being linked with pursuit of Brendan Rodgers and Jesse Marsch if Postecoglou departs this week.

Who is Ange Postecoglou?

Postecoglou, 57, was born in Greece and moved to Australia at a young age, starring for South Melbourne as a player and earning for caps for the Socceroos.

He is coming off a domestic treble with Celtic and won five of six trophies available to him in his two seasons with the Bhoys.

At Celtic, Postecoglou played with a 4-3-3 for much of the first half of his tenure but played a lot of this campaign in a 4-2-3-1.

Postecoglou won trophies as a manager with South Melbourne, Brisbane Roar, and Yokohama F. Marinos, claiming the Asian Cup during his stint as Australia national team coach.

He said he expects tricky early times wherever he goes.

“Wherever I’ve been, the initial part is always rocky, because my ideas are… well they’re not extreme to me but I can see how they can be seen as extreme from the outside. It takes a while. Usually it can take me six months, it can take me a year to really bed them in, depending on how many opportunities I have to change the playing squad and the staff and all those kinds of things.”

Five players to watch in the Premier League’s summer transfer window


There’s going to be turnover in the Premier League this offseason, and it seems likely the big boys will again be looking to the top young talents in other leagues to get in when the getting is good.

There will be big price tags attached to some players this summer, but in the case of the players below we may be talking about players just a window away from having unattainably high price tags for most clubs.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Arsenal | Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man City | Man United ] 

Most of these names have danced through ProSoccerTalk‘s transfer rumor mill at least once during the past season or two, and in one case have been on the radar for a half-decade or so.

Here’s a look at five players who may well find their way to the Premier League in the very near future, and could move somewhere this summer.

Xavi Simons, PSV Eindhoven

At times the teen hype around Xavi Simons coming out of Barcelona’s academy was akin to the recruitment of Martin Odegaard out of Norway so many years ago. But Simons couldn’t break through at Barca and his move to Paris Saint-Germain didn’t take off as expected. So Simons, who just turned 20 in April, landed at PSV Eindhoven. All he did was lead the Eredivisie in goals. PSG has a buyback clause but Simons would have to want to go there… and there are plenty of rumored suitors for the playmaker. Simons chipped in eight assists and was Fotmob’s highest-rated Eredivisie player.

Possible fits: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool

Jurrien Timber, Ajax

Still 21 for a couple more weeks, Timber got Mancunian tongues wagging when he attended the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City. The star center back played under United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax and now has 15 caps for the Netherlands senior team. He has a ridiculous passing and ball progression profile for his position, and has showed enough attacking acumen to get any team excited about him.

Possible fits: Manchester United, Manchester City

Randal Kolo Muani, Eintracht Frankfurt

The 24-year-old has acknowledged dreams of playing in the Premier League following a blockbuster first season at Eintracht, where he scored 23 goals with 17 assists amongst all competitions. Moving to a new country did not slow him at all after his time at Nantes, and he was linked with a number of PL sides even before he admitted his interest in the league.

Possible fits: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United

Sepe Elye Wahi, Montpellier

The 20-year-old nearly scored as many goals as his age in his third season with Montpellier’s first team, and has attracted interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, and Chelsea amongst others. Wahi is still very raw when it comes to passing the ball but part of his statistical deficiencies could have to do with his club’s relative struggles. A eager presser, his best traits are finishing and that’s the stat that drives the bus for him.

Possible fits: Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal

Gabriel Veiga, Celta Vigo

Here’s another playmaker linked with Arsenal, but you can see why he could fit in Mikel Arteta’s system. His 11 goals were 13th in La Liga this season and his four assists means he had a goal contribution on 15 of Celta’s 43 league goals. An eager dribbler, he delivered 80 shot creating actions this season and ranked in the 99th percentile for midfielders when it came to non-penalty goals.

Possible fits: Newcastle, Arsenal, Man CIty

How many times has a team won the treble? Man City goes for history


There’s been a lot of treble talk these days, talk that’s found a new level of buzz since Manchester City moved within one win of joining the club.

It’s an elite club, by the way, of teams that have won their domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Nine times in history has a team won the treble, and only once has it been done by a Premier League club.

[ MORE: Recalling Zlatan’s “unicorn” career ]

That’s why Man City’s defeat of Manchester United earlier this month in the FA Cup Final rings so true for the Citizens; The blue side of Manchester would join the red side as treble supporters, as United won the treble in 1998-99.

Man City goes for the third jewel of its treble crown on Saturday versus Inter Milan in Istanbul when it kicks off the UEFA Champions League Final.

For more treble trivia, head below the jump.

How many times has the treble been won?

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Manchester City vs Inter Milan: How to watch Champions League Final, odds, predictions


Manchester City is on the chase for a historic treble and standing in the way is Inter Milan, one of Europe’s precious few clubs to claim such an honor.

[ LIVE: Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The Premier League winners three times running have an FA Cup under their belt after beating Manchester United on June 3 and the final jewel in their treble crown awaits with a win in Istanbul on June 10.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Pep Guardiola could lead a second club to a treble after he did it with Barcelona in 2008-09, and they would give heated rivals United domestic company on the treble stage right down the road.

Guardiola says it’s now okay to talk about the treble. We agree, and we’ve laid out why the achievement is so special after the jump.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City vs Inter Milan.

How to watch Manchester City vs Inter Milan live, stream link and start time

Dates: 3pm ET June 10, 2023
Online: Live updates via
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

What Premier League clubs have won the treble?

Manchester United won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in 1998-99.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils are the lone Premier League club to win it.

That’s it. For now.

How many times has the treble been won?

Nine times in history has a team won its domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Champions League Final odds (Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM )

BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links. 

Man City (-250) vs Inter Milan (+625) | Draw over 120 mins (+380)

Over 2.5 goals (-160). Under 2.5 goals (+110)

Champions League Final predictions

Joe Prince-Wright: Man City 2-1 Inter Milan
Andy Edwards: Man City 3-1 Inter Milan
Nick Mendola: Man City 2-0 Inter Milan

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options


Inter Milan team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joaquin Correa. OUT: Dalbert.