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Gary Lineker makes Lionel Messi transfer request to Barcelona amid Chelsea links

Lionel Messi could be set to leave Barcelona after a dramatic sequence of events which have now led to a transfer request and links with Chelsea, Manchester United and Man City.

Former England star turned Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has been one of the flurry of pundits to react to the news which now has the 33-year-old superstar potentially on the verge of an exit from the Camp Nou.

Barcelona lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals earlier this month which came on the back of a disappointing La Liga campaign that saw rivals Real Madrid land the title.

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This season’s blows also follow a shocking 4-0 second-leg defeat at Liverpool during the 2018/19 Champions League semi-finals after building a 3-0 first-leg advantage.

All of these factors have led to a disgruntled Messi, who sent a fax to the Barcelona board demanding he exercise a clause which would allow him to leave for free, though that clause expired in June.

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Chelsea have been linked with a move and reports state that Messi has already spoken to Man City boss Pep Guardiola, while it has been suggested that Manchester United are one of the clubs in the best position to pull off what would be a mammoth deal.

Lineker, meanwhile, has insisted that Messi should be treated with the ultimate respect after a brilliant career at the Spanish giants which includes six Ballon d’Ors.

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