Paris Saint-Germain chief Leonardo has been told Lionel Messi has chosen Manchester City as his next club, according to reports in France.
Messi handed in a transfer request this week at Barcelona and is hopeful he can terminate his contract and avoid a costly fee for his prospective new club.
L’Équipe claim PSG are one of the clubs vying to sign Messi and have already contacted the Argentine’s father, Jorge, about a deal.
But Messi senior told PSG sporting director Leonardo in a phone call that his son had decided to join Pep Guardiola’s City.
The Premier League team, like PSG, are one of the few clubs in world football who could be able to afford to buy Messi and match his lucrative contract at Barcelona.
There would also be the opportunity for Messi to link up with former Barcelona head coach Guardiola, who has built a formidable team at the Etihad.
Messi’s decision has sent shockwaves through Barcelona, with fans protesting outside Camp Nou and calling for Josep Bartomeu’s resignation.
The president has so far resisted calls for his dismissal and is determined to convince Messi to remain at the club.
Messi has a £632million release clause in his contract and Barcelona insist the option to terminate his contract expired last June, regardless of the rescheduled season.
Ronald Koeman has taken charge at Barcelona and Messi is yet to meet with Barcelona chiefs in person about his decision to leave.
Messi’s relationship with the board has deteriorated rapidly in the last year and the club captain was particularly irked by the sacking of Ernesto Valverde and the sale of Neymar.
One club that will not be signing Messi is Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp ruling out a move for the 33-year-old.
‘Who doesn’t want Messi in their team?’ Klopp said. ‘The numbers are not for us, but a good player, to be honest.’
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