Football transfer rumours: Lionel Messi to Chelsea or Manchester City?

Today’s rumours are mesmerised

Some people believe they have seen face of Jesus in a piece of toast, some people hear coded instructions in Michael Jackson’s lyrics, and some people believe that if Lionel Messi follows Thibaut Courtois and Felipe Luís on Instagram, then the Argentinian tease is definitely on the verge of a move to Chelsea. The Manchester Evening News laughs at such conclusions – because it reckons that Messi’s ideal destination, to which he will travel while competing with Kobe Bryant to impress a young boy, is Manchester. So when City and Barcelona face each other in the Champions League next month, City will in fact be auditioning for the role of Messi’s new employer. The stakes for that clash then have just got higher: can Manuel Pellegrini be trusted to mastermind the victory that is required over Barcelona? Or should the club’s owners pull out all the stop and hire David Moyes pronto?

Speaking of City, they will have no say whatsoever in whether Sunderland sign defender Virgil van Dijk from Celtic.

Related: Chelsea eye free move for Micah Richards in summer

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