Chelsea won’t let Man City have free-run at Lionel Messi

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Chelsea are reportedly set to rival Manchester City in the race for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

READ MORE: Barcelona players make collective gesture that could help save their season

Messi, 33, has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona after joining their youth academy all the way back in 2000.

Since his arrival in Spain, the world-class South American has enjoyed a career littered with silverware, both individually and collectively.

Messi’s extraordinary career has seen him become one of, if not, the, greatest player ever to grace the beautiful game.

However, in a saga which was once unimaginable, Messi looks set not to finish his glittering career with the club where it all began.

A summer of turmoil at Barcelona and increased financial strains saw Messi come close to throwing the towel in as the Argentinian looked for a way out.

Speculation began to mount but after the 33-year-old gave Goal an exclusive interview confirmed he would remain at the Nou Camp for at least one more seasons, Messi proposed sensational switch away was postponed.

However, as the January window fast approaches, the rumours linking Messi away all ready began with the latest coming from journalist Guillem Balague.

According to Balague, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are ‘in the equation’ to sign Messi.

It has also been reported that despite Chelsea’s whopping £230m summer spending, they still remain keen on bringing Messi to London with the finances of any proposed deal thought not to be a problem.