Lionel Messi: New Barcelona president vows to keep star
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Chelsea are Champions League winners again. Thomas Tuchel’s side got the better of Manchester City in Porto on Saturday night, with Kai Havertz’s goal gifting them the prize. And things could improve further if they sign Lionel Messi, with it recently emerging the Blues had been ‘contacted’ over a possible deal for the Barcelona star.
Few gave Chelsea a hope of winning the Champions League when they sacked Frank Lampard in January.
The Blues had endured a problematic first half of the season, struggling for form and seeing the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz toil.
But, ever since sacking Lampard and naming Tuchel as his replacement, the west London giants have been on an upwards trajectory.
Now, they’re back at the summit of European football. Havertz’s first half goal against City was enough to deliver the Champions League trophy, leaving Manchester City reeling in the process.
It was a huge night for Chelsea, who are now primed to add to their squad this summer.
And a deal for Messi, it seems, can’t be entirely ruled out.
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The Barcelona star won the Copa del Rey this season but, at the age of 33, is approaching the twilight years of his career.
He wants to win the Champions League one last time and, as things stand, Barcelona don’t appear to be in any position to do that. Nowhere near, in fact.
Messi’s time at Barcelona may now be up as a result, with the Argentina international now taking his time to ponder his next move.
Staying at the Nou Camp remains a possibility but, with each passing day, that looks increasingly unlikely.
And it was claimed by The Sun earlier this month that Messi’s camp had contacted Chelsea about a potential deal, as well as Manchester United.
It’s said they ‘put the feelers out’ to see whether any of the Premier League’s elite would take the Barcelona star, who scored 35 goals across all competitions last term.
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And while there was no mention of a response, Chelsea could be forgiven for at least contemplating it.
Roman Abramovich has long admired Messi, dreamed of bringing him to Stamford Bridge and becoming the standout player in the Premier League in the process.
So while Manchester City and PSG are currently considered frontrunners for the forward, Chelsea could yet have a big say in his next move.
Tuchel has worked hard to coax the best from his squad – but they’re still lacking a superstar to take them to even greater heights.
And Messi would certainly fit the bill, while it would also enable them to get one over on City yet again in the process.
As things stand, Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku appear likelier signings for Chelsea.
But, given the recent contact between the player’s entourage and the Blues, a stunning summer arrangement may very well be on the cards.
Speaking after his side beat City on Saturday night, Chelsea boss Tuchel singled out Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger for praise.
“City chose a very offensive and very technical line-up. It was very hard to recover the balls,” he told the club’s official website.
“It was very important that we step out with Azpi and Toni constantly out of the back five to support our midfield, and it was important to stay in a block on the front five.
“We were absolutely sure that we needed to play with a strong bond and with a genuine belief, and this is what we did.
“Minute after minute we could grab some ball possession we could win more and more second balls and initiate some dangerous counter attacks which gave us confidence, and from then on it was a tough match until the end.”
Tuchel also feels his Chelsea group are ‘strong’, insisting they packed together to stop City bagging an equaliser.
“We have a strong group who can really defend and defending is a huge part of football,” he said.
“They have a huge energy together and they can deliver under pressure. So this sets the level for us and once the celebrations are over and we have all digested this experience, it’s the moment to grow, to evolve, and to use it to become better.
“A lot of young players had this huge success and now it’s a big challenge to stay hungry and to go for the next one.”
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