Leeds United fans have playfully urged Marcelo Bielsa to lure his fellow countryman, Lionel Messi, to Elland Road after it was announced he was leaving Barcelona.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a free agent since his contract expired at the end of June but was expected to renew his terms.
Messi went on record last summer to state he was unhappy at the Nou Camp and now a deal has broken down, Barcelona have confirmed.
A club statement read: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).
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“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.
“FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”
With a mad scramble set to ensure across Europe to snap up the 34-year-old, Leeds fans have jokingly urged the club to tie up Messi.
Asked about the mercurial Argentine in May 2019, Bielsa said: “What could I say that hasn’t been said so far, if you want to talk about Messi?
“If I had to talk about Lionel Messi and say something new, I would put the picture where the ball goes through the goal and the position of the goalkeeper.
“You just have to feel admiration for this goalkeeper, because how did he reach this position? And by doing this thing, someone would say, ‘yes but he lacked a centimetre’.
“And at the same time, he did that hundred of times. So there is nothing new you can say.”