After Barcelona's much-publicised pursuit of Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas this summer, the flip-side of the coin comes to light after Arsene Wenger revealed that he made a bid for Lionel Messi which was turned down by the Catalan club.
Messi has now come clean and revealed his strong desire to move to Arsenal.
If Fabregas's repeated statements that he wants to stay at Arsenal are indicative of his desire for a move, as seems to be the common opinion, then how much more so does Messi's silence on the subject speak volumes?
Consummate professional that he is, Messi doesn't want to destabilise his club by speaking openly of his desperation for the transfer—but it is plain from his lack of denials that he has no intention of staying at Barcelona unless forced to.
Whilst the move seems a little outlandish at first glance, it is not totally without merit. At Barcelona, Messi is the star in a side that has peaked, and which has won everything there is to win. At Arsenal, he would join a group of like-minded players who are of similar age to himself and on an upward curve. The chances are that the mantle of best team in the world would accompany him as he moved from Spain to England.
It might also seem like Messi might be too expensive for Arsenal, but with Barcelona valuing Fabregas at £20 million, it appears that Messi wouldn't cost more than €25-35 million; possibly less, since the player is desperate to move. Having shed Toure and Adebayor, Arsenal should easily be able to afford the transfer fee and his wages.
The only stumbling block now is Barcelona's management, and their refusal to allow Messi to move where he wants. At the moment, they aren't used to the idea that their club will sell to Arsenal.
As recent studies have shown ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19210062), and as has been proved by the Fabregas transfer saga, the more often you hear an unbelievable notion, the more credible it becomes.
Barcelona are going to have to get used to hearing this repeated until it happens.