MANCHESTER CITY are now odds-on favourites to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi on a free transfer.
The Citizens were previously available at 5/4 but that price has been slashed to 8/11 with bookmakers Betfair.
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It looks a straight shootout for the legend's signature with Paris Saint-Germain the closest competition at 7/4.
Further back in the betting market is a surprise return to Argentina, which is priced at 5/1.
Although that would involved the 33-year-old taking an enormous wage reduction.
A move Stateside, where he's previously discussed moving, is offered at 8/1 while any Chinese club striking a deal can be backed at a double-figure 20/1.
It looks increasingly likely that Messi will end his 20-year relationship with the Spanish heavyweights.
Lionel Messi Next Club odds – Betfair
- Manchester City – 8/11
- Paris Saint-Germain – 7/4
- Any Argentine Club – 5/1
- Any MLS Club – 8/1
- Any Chinese Club – 20/1
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The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has entered the final five months of his current contract at Camp Nou.
And manager Ronald Koeman revealed to The Athletic that he wasn't confident about agreeing new terms with the player.
He said: "I'm not confident about that.
"I'm hopeful, yes, about this because he's still a great player and he's still winning matches for us, for the team.
"I'm enjoying being his coach, if you look at his qualities every day in the training sessions, it's incredible.
"Of course, he came as a young kid to Barcelona. And I still don’t see Leo Messi in another shirt other than the Barca shirt."
Th Dutchman might have to get used to the idea of Messi wearing a different shirt with Barca in such a dire financial situation.
The Club revealed debts of £1.1billion in their latest annual report.
And shortly after Spanish publication El Mundo leaked a report that revealed Messi earned an astronomical £491m from his current contract, signed back in 2017.
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