Juventus have reportedly made contact with Lionel Messi in a bid to try and lure the Argentine to Turin and form a stunning strike partnership with great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi and Ronaldo have battled for the coveted status as the world’s best footballer for more than a decade and had some titanic Clasico tussles during the Portuguese’s time at Real Madrid.
Ronaldo left Los Blancos to move to the Old Lady two summers ago, and the Italian champions and new boss Andrea Pirlo now want Messi to join him, according to L’Equipe.
The report says the Bianconeri have made a ‘discreet approach’ to Messi’s father to sound out the possibility of a sensational switch.
Manchester City remain frontrunners in the race for Messi who told Barcelona of his desire to leave the Nou Camp following their 8-2 humbling by Bayern Munich.
The subsequent dismissal of Quique Setien and arrival of Ronald Koeman as manager did nothing to change Messi’s mind, although he has requested clear-the-air talks with the Blaugrana.
However, Barca say they are not interested unless Messi wants to sign a new deal, as the relationship between player and club turns toxic.
Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain are the other clubs in the running for Messi, with his close friend and former Barca teammate Neymar understood to be on the charm offensive in the French capital.
One club that won’t be making an approach, however, is Liverpool.
Boss Jurgen Klopp admitted his interest but ruled out a swoop due to the finances involved, while also casting doubt on a potential switch to the Etihad.
He said: “Yeah, who doesn’t want Messi in their team? But no chance. The numbers are absolutely not for us. But… good player to be honest!