Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, (c) Soccrates Images.

Messi’s successor rejects Barcelona to join Real Madrid instead

Barcelona have been thwarted in their pursuit of a solid replacement for Lionel Messi, who prefers joining Real Madrid instead.

Barcelona are finally gaining momentum this season as they now stand third in La Liga. The Catalans must owe it to Lionel Messi, who has scored four times in the last two matches and been an inspiration to grabbing crucial points in the title race.

However, whether or not Messi will remain at the Camp Nou for much longer remains to be seen. The Argentina international has been tipped to depart the club at the end of his contract and even some of Barca’s presidential candidates are expecting it to happen.

Diario GOL has now reported that the Catalans had shortlisted Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe as a potential replacement to Messi. Joan Laporta, who is the favourite to win the elections and become president later this month was hopeful of landing Mbappe.

Unfortunately, the 58-year-old’s bid of signing the World Cup winner has been met with rejection as the Frenchman prefers a move to Real Madrid. Los Blancos are themselves keen on signing the 22-year-old and are willing to pay a record sum to do so this summer itself.

Zinedine Zidane is thought to be playing a pivotal role in luring Mbappe to Real Madrid with his presence in the dugout and Barca’s loss is all set to be their arch-rival’s gain, as the Whites may eventually end up replacing their greatest player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

As an alternative to Mbappe, Barcelona remain interested in signing Erling Haaland but are met with a queue of gigantic suitors including Real Madrid. The Borussia Dortmund superstar has a release clause worth 75 million euros, which is affordable to many.

With Messi touted to leave the Camp Nou, it is imperative that the Blaugrana sign a worthy enough replacement but that must not mean they ignore some of the talent in their existing squad. In what may be a transitional phase, the youngsters could be a bright spark.

Ansu Fati as well as Pedri have shown that they can deal with pressure at a very young age and are perhaps the best young players La Masia has produced since Messi himself. It will be interesting to see how Barca cope with life after Messi, more so due to the financial crisis.

Do you think Messi will stay or leave the club?