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Van Basten slams Barcelona star Messi; Man City urged to bid

Dutch great Marco van Basten admits he's been shocked by the form freefall suffered by Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Fellow former Holland international Youri Mulder, meanwhile, says Barca should encourage Manchester City's interest and sell Messi in January given his lacklustre performances this season.

Both Dutch pundits were speaking on Ziggo Sport via Voetbalzone reflecting on Barca's defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday. The Catalan giants' captain again struggled to make an impact over the 90 minutes - much to the frustration of Van Basten.

Indeed, the Euros winner says Messi, on present form, is now proving an on-field liability.

He said: “He's just playing badly now. Messi and Antoine Griezmann play like a bunch of cake bakers.

“He will undoubtedly be bothered by the fact that there is no audience.

“He is not happy with the situation in and around Barcelona. And then also that hassle with Griezmann. It's an accumulation. We don't see the person we've known."

Van Basten won three European Cups and four Serie A titles with AC Milan before injury cut short his career at the age of 28 in 1993.

Meanwhile, in the same studio, Mulder raised the prospect of Barca cashing in on Messi during the winter market. Off contract in June, it will be the last chance for the Spanish giants to sell Messi - unless he can be convinced to sign new terms.

For Mulder, from what he saw of Messi on Saturday, Barca should move to sell.

The former Holland striker declared: “Barcelona needs money.

"What should Manchester City pay? Maybe fifty million euros? And you also get rid of his salary."


- updated November 24

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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