Lionel Messi potentially leaving Barcelona is the football story not just of the year, but quite possibly the decade.
The way the club has fallen into its current shambolic state, with feuding parties on all sides, is a far cry from the all-conquering side which had Messi at the centre of it only a few years ago, but if he does move on this summer, his transfer will have an undoubted domino effect across Europe.
For starters, there’s the fact he’ll play nearly every game, so someone from his position will need to move on from whichever club he joins.
Then there’s the financial impact: Barcelona will be freed of more than £1million a week, and will undoubtedly spend somewhat to ‘replace’ him — in terms of position and numbers in the squad, if not in individual quality — and the team who sign him will need to offload at least a couple of players to afford the salary, in all likelihood.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in8Cancel
In the Premier League, Manchester City are the club most closely linked with a move for the mercurial Argentinian.
So could others in turn profit from the Etihad club needing to sell? Arsenal will hope so; they are in rebuild mode and trying to give Mikel Arteta a squad which can compete closer to the Champions League spots, but their finances are reasonably limited and attracting players from top clubs to join a side who were mid-table much of last season is a tough sell – unless they know they have no future at their current club, and want to join another one who look on the way up.
Here are some of the City players Arsenal could potentially swoop for.
Fear not, this isn’t yet another left-sided defensive option to challenge Tierney, Saka, Kolasinac and the gang.
This is Zinchenko back in his original position, an area Arsenal need at least one signing in and quite possibly more: central midfield. It’s known that…