While the Barcelona bosses are convinced to keep their star man, they are already making contingency plans for his departure.
According to The mail , the Spanish club have identified Senegalese leader Mane as the perfect option to fill Messi’s boots if he leaves Camp Nou.
Even Messi himself would give Mane the seal of approval, having nominated the Liverpool star for the FIFA Best Player award last year.
And it looks like Mane wants to move to Spain as well, because TMW (via sport ) report that the 28-year-old is said to be willing to turn his back on Anfield to play for the Catalan giants.
Barcelona are expected to accumulate money to secure Mane’s services with his asking price set at £ 107million.
These fees would not be a problem for Barca if they were able to sell Messi, but as it stands, they risk losing him for nothing amid a contract dispute.
Messi has asked to activate a clause in his deal that says he is able to leave at the end of the season for free.
The problem is that as far as Barca are concerned, the clause expired in June making it null and void, but Messi will argue that it should still be active given that the season has just ended due to the coronavirus delay.
If Messi gets his wish, signing Mane could be more problematic for Barcelona, who lost around £ 200million in earnings last season.
Mane is under contract at Liverpool for an additional three years and the Merseyside club certainly won’t be happy to lose any of their powerful three forward.
However, at 28, there might not be a better time to sell him and the forward has long been linked with a trade with Barca rivals Real Madrid.
Liverpool were looking to tie him to a new long-term deal that would see him end his Anfield career, but Mane may have other ideas if Barca become a serious option.
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