It’s always interesting to wonder how much influence players like Lionel Messi have at their clubs.
You have to think they really need to just be seen as players who have no influence behind the scenes, but we always hear stories about them demanding certain signings or having the power to turn everyone against the coach, so it must be a real thing.
The latest Barca player to incur Messi’s wrath is Marc-Andre ter Stegen, he’s pushing for a new contract with a pay rise and it’s becoming a distraction at the club.
According to a report from Don Balon, Messi has had enough of the German and wants the club to sell him, with the relationship between the pair being reported as completely broken down.
Selling someone is only ever one side of the story, but it sounds like a possible replacement may have been found. The report goes on to suggest that Barca have had a lot of positive reports about Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon, who could be signed for €35m.
In a strange way that could also be ideal for Chelsea, as Bilbao would need a new keeper and a return to Spain for Kepa would make a lot of sense.
As for the German stopper, it would be a huge call to let a world class player leave, but perhaps Messi is now so powerful that they won’t have any choice.