Barcelona: Koeman on Messi's future after defeat
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Barcelona will only sign Sergio Aguero this summer if Lionel Messi decides to leave the club, according to reports. Aguero is out of contract at Manchester City at the end of the season and looks set to leave on a free transfer. Messi is in a similar situation at Barca, though is reportedly more open to staying following the election of Joan Laporta as the club’s new president.
Messi wanted to leave Barca last summer but his exit was blocked by the then president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The Argentina superstar has not let that affect his performances, as he once again sits top of the La Liga goalscoring charts this season.
Meanwhile, international team-mate Aguero has had a difficult season, starting just four Premier League matches due to a string of injury and fitness issues.
City appear unlikely to extend the contract of their record goalscorer and Barca are interested in taking the 32-year-old to the Nou Camp.
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However, Ian McGarry of the Transfer Window podcast insists it is unlikely that Barca would pay out on wages for both Messi and Aguero, therefore meaning only one will play for the club next season.
“[Aguero] has been linked with a move away from Manchester City despite of course being the club’s all-time record goalscorer and an absolute hero and legend to the city fans,” McGarry said.
“Our information at the Transfer Window is that Barcelona have expressed a solid interest in taking Aguero in the summer.
“However it will be dependent, given the financial investment that will be required with regards to the contract and wages on what Lionel Messi does, it’s unlikely that both will play in the same team at the Camp Nou, although it’s not impossible.
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“Obviously Joan Laporta needs a statement signing in order to honour his commitment in terms of the election to the fans.”
Meanwhile, Spanish football expert Graham Hunter says the chances of Messi extending his stay at Barca have increased substantially in recent months.
“The chances were nil last summer,” Hunter told talkSPORT.
“They were about 25 per cent in the autumn, and I think they’ve increased to about 60 or 65 per cent. So I think he’ll stay.
“They still have to offer him the money, we’re back to money again.
“They have to say, ‘Here’s what we value you staying’. And if they get that right, then maybe he stays.
“Messi is happier than he was last August and playing well, he’s LaLiga’s top scorer.”
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