SEEING Lionel Messi in any other colours apart from the famous stripes of Barcelona seems difficult to imagine.
But for the first time in the Argentine’s remarkable career, a move away from the Nou Camp seems more likely than ever.
There are five reasons why Lionel Andres Messi could leave Barcelona.
In July, Messi and his father, Jorge, both received a 21-month jail sentence for tax evasion.
It was revealed that the duo had offshore accounts in Uruguay and Belize in order to hide nearly £4million worth of his income from image rights.
Although he avoided ending up behind bars, Messi is thought to be furious with the verdict and is considering leaving the country as a result.
Barcelona have held series of meetings with Jorge in order to agree a new contract with Messi but as the maestro holds all the cards, he is refusing to commit to the Catalan side.
One final payday
Only a handful of clubs can afford Messi’s huge wage demands.
Thought to be earning in the region of a staggering £365,000-a-week, Barcelona cannot afford to improve his wage packet.
Messi has been with the club since the age of 13 and has since won every trophy possible with Barcelona. But there are titles that Messi can’t win in Spain.
His pal Luis Suarez has reportedly convinced him that the Premier League is the most intense in world football and would be an experience like no other.
He would have also seen his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo lift the Premier League and FA Cup during his time at Manchester United and would undoubtedly want to show the world that he can produce in a different league.
Having been crowned the world’s greatest player five times, Messi has nothing left to prove and therefore could see it as the ideal incentive to seek a new challenge.
Reunite with Pep Guardiola
It is no secret that the pair share a close bond whilst the Spaniard was manager of Barcelona and they regularly keep in touch.
If any manager was able to convince Messi to ply his trade in the Premier League then it would be the Manchester City boss.
He said of the possibility: “Maybe he will think ‘okay I want to go play somewhere else’ because maybe he wants his kids to speak English or live a different experience, like happened to many of us. Maybe it could happen.”
Guardiola has already hinted that Messi wants his two young children to learn English and experience a new culture.
A move away from Spain would be the perfect opportunity in order to do just that.
His stunning wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, is also best friends with Cesc Fabregas’ partner Daniella Semaan and would have no complaints in reuniting with her.