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Chelsea Target Lionel Messi Only At Barcelona Due To Promise To Former Manager

The Argentine could be leaving the Nou Camp…

Former Barcelona assistant manager Henk Ten Cate believes that Lionel Messi would have left the club had he not made a promise to former boss Tito Vilanova, reports Goal.com.

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The 27-year-old has been linked to a sensational transfer to Premier League leaders Chelsea in recent weeks, but no movement has been seen on a move as of yet.

The Dutchman thinks that is because he promised his former manager, who has since passed away. The 60-year-old was assistant coach at the Nou Camp when Frank Rijkaard gave a young Messi his debut.

The Argentina international enjoyed a close relationship with Vilanova, and it is this that has made sure that he is yet to leave the Catalan club. However, Ten Cate believes that the four time Ballon d’Or winner should move on to a new challenge now.

“As far as I know, these problems all started about two years ago. Messi is only still at Barcelona because he promised it to Tito Vilanova at his deathbed,” Ten Cate told De Telegraaf.

“But I think a transfer would be in everybody’s best interest. Lionel has been at Barcelona for quite a while and he needs a new challenge. He’s still worth a lot of money now, but his value will only go down from here on.”

He is not sure that the forward will rediscover his best form in the near future, “I really want to be supportive, because he has been on another level for 10 years. But I’m not sure he will get back to his best.

“It isn’t normal to shine for 10 years like he has done. Most of the big names can only keep it up for seven or eight years. And to be honest, he wasn’t at his best either last season, even if his statistics were still great.”

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