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Barcelona target Liverpool star as potential Messi replacement

Barcelona target Liverpool star as potential Messi replacement

Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a replacement for Lionel Messi, who is ready to leave the Spanish club, as they prepare for their first season without Messi in 16 years.

Messi has handed in a transfer request at Barcelona, wanting to terminate his contract in order to move to a different club, with the likes of Manchester City, PSG, Inter and Manchester United all being mentioned to sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Whilst Barcelona are still confident of holding on to their star, they are still preparing for life without him should he leave.

One of the names popping up is Liverpool's Sadio Mane, with the Senegalese forward being seen as the perfect option to take Messi's place in the team.

Messi himself values Mane a great deal, nominating him for the FIFA Best Player award last year.

Reports seem to be leaning towards Mane switching to Barcelona, with TMW claiming that the 28-year-old would be willing to leave Anfield and head for the Camp Nou.

However, Liverpool demand a relatively high transfer fee, wanting £107 million for the winger.

Whilst the fee would not be a problem for the Catalan giants if Messi is sold to another club, as it stands they could be set to lose him for free as they battle him for a contract decision.

During the conversation between Messi and the board, he asked to activate a clause in his deal that allows him to leave the club at the end of the season for free.

The problem in the negotiation is that Barcelona are concerned that the clause expired in June, thus not allowing this clause to happen, yet Messi argued that since the season just finished due to the coronavirus delay, then the clause should still be active.

If Messi is allowed to leave for free, Barcelona will have a tough time, especially since they lost around £200 million in revenue last season due to the pandemic.

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