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Lionel Messi’s former agent tips him to join Inter and renew Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry in transfer blow to Man City

LIONEL MESSI will renew his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo by joining Inter Milan this summer, according to his former agent.

The Argentine stunned the football world yesterday by confirming his intention to leave Barcelona this summer.

And while Premier League trio Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been linked with the 33-year-old, he has been tipped by some to join Inter Milan.

His former agent Josep Maria Minguella is among those backing Messi to head to Serie A – resuming his rivalry with former Real Madrid foe Ronaldo in the process.

The 79-year-old told Spanish radio station Cope: “For me, Messi already has a team: Inter.

“In Italy they pay less taxes for what could be, in fact, there is Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It is more difficult for me to see him in England no matter how much his friend Aguero and Guardiola are in City.

“Now in Italy they are trying to revitalise the world of football with great signings and with these advantages in the advertising contracts of the footballers.”

Messi has been unhappy all season at Barcelona, after seeing the board fail to re-sign Neymar, as well as going against his wishes by signing Antoine Griezmann and sacking Ernesto Valverde.

The final straw, however, was their treatment of team-mate and pal Luis Suarez, after new boss Ronald Koeman told the Uruguayan in a two-minute conversation that he would not be part of his plans.

Messi’s team argue that a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave this summer for free should not have expired in June because of the extended season due to the Covid pandemic. 

Otherwise, his buyout clause is around the £630m mark.

According to El Pais, however, Fifa will not stand in their way if they hit the eject button.

The Spanish newspaper claim to have been told by sources inside football’s governing body that it has no precedent to prevent Messi from leaving.

In the last 15 years, there have been no interventions from Fifa or the Court of Arbitration for Sport on cases that would apply to dealing with this latest saga.

As a result, Messi would only have to apply to Fifa’s Transfer Matching System to fill out the relevant documentation and complete a move.

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