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CHINA BOUND?

Lionel Messi refuses to rule out Chinese Super League switch as Barcelona contract talks continue

Argentine superstar sparks rumours of future move to the Far East after his reign of dominance in Spain ends

LIONEL MESSI says the chances of him playing in the Chinese Super League in the future are not “impossible”.

The Barcelona star is locked in talks with the Catalans about extending his contract after entering the final year of his existing deal.

Lionel Messi has refused to rule out a move to the Chinese Super League

Getty Images
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Lionel Messi has refused to rule out a move to the Chinese Super League

An extension is bound to be reached, but the 29-year-old has refused to rule out a move to the Far East later in his career.

The five-time Balon d’Or winner told Tencent, ESPN‘s partner in China: “[Staying at Barca] is what I’ve always wanted, what I always dreamt of and what I always said I’d do.

“But I wouldn’t say [moving to China] is impossible, no?

“No one can say that anything is impossible in football.

“Anything can happen [in football] but today I’ll tell you — no, it hasn’t crossed my mind.”

Talks between the forward and club chiefs are reportedly close to coming to an end.

The Argentine now looks set to stay at the Nou Camp under new boss Ernesto Valverde, who replaces Luis Enrique in the hotseat.

The Argentine says that it is not 'impossible' to see himself playing there in the future

PA:Press Association
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The Argentine says that it is not ‘impossible’ to see himself playing there in the future

Messi only has one year left on his Barcelona contract

PA:Press Association
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Messi only has one year left on his Barcelona contract

Lionel Messi is set to agree an extension to his contract at the Nou Camp

PA:Press Association
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Lionel Messi is set to agree an extension to his contract at the Nou Camp

Barca had a poor campaign by their high standards last year.

They could only finish second in La Liga and watched on as rivals Real Madrid clinched the title and Champions League double.

However, Messi still proved he is at the peak of his powers by netting 54 goals in 52 appearances.

And if he were to move to China then he would be able to pay a visit to his very own Lionel Messi-themed amusement park that will soon be opening in Nanjing.

The Messi Experience Park will have more than 20 attractions over a 80,000 sq metre site and is due to open in early 2019.