MADRID – They’ve been rivals for so long, but could Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo soon be playing in the same team?
Yes, if a report on Saturday is anything to go by. French newspaper L’Equipe says that Italian giants Juventus – who already have Ronaldo on their books – have made a “discreet approach” to Messi, who has told Barcelona he wants to leave.
“Both men are sporting rivals but they respect and rate one another,” the paper said. “And together they would have all the weapons to win the Champions League again,” it added, although it acknowledged that English Premier League side Manchester City remain favourites to sign Messi.
Catalonian newspaper Mundo Deportivo wrote on Saturday that under no circumstances will Barcelona allow Messi to leave on a free transfer or for a relatively low fee.
“He’s not for sale,” the paper’s headline ran. Messi’s contract, which runs until June 2021, contains a buy-out clause of €700 million ($833 million/R13 billion).
French champions Paris Saint-Germain are another possible destination for the 33-year-old, with Mundo Deportivo saying that two old friends who play in Paris have called him recently in an attempt to persuade him to join them: Argentinan compatriot Angel Di Maria and ex-Barca forward Neymar.