Over the past week or so (or at least since Messi’s tax evasion trial), rumours the Barcelona superstar could be leaving the Catalan club have been doing the rounds.

Having only played for his current club professionally, the 28-year-old seems destined to end his career, at least the European part of it, in Spain without having felt the need to try to impose himself elsewhere like his on the pitch rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yet talk of Messi leaving Barcelona has scarcely been stronger than it has done these days but it would take a monumental offer from anyone to convince the Liga BBVA champions to let him go.

Well, they wouldn’t need convincing, they’d just need to accept the bid as this would only happen if his release clause was met.

Standing at an impressive €250m, only a handful of clubs could allow themselves the luxury to make such a bid, including Manchester City, now being managed by Messi’s former mentor Pep Guardiola.

Marca have a brief article on this in their Thursday edition, and say the blue side of Manchester are very attentive to everything surrounding Messi, and with Ferran Soriano (City’s CEO) a good friend of the player himself and his father, they would probably stand a better chance than most if Messi was thinking of giving football elsewhere a go.

Manchester United are also mentioned, but Marca say Mourinho’s team’s advances were rejected, and that the thought of leaving Barcelona this summer has yet to cross Messi’s mind.

These stories tend to appear once a summer and we’re just glad they’re getting them out of the way early this year.

Tom Coast.