Lionel Messi to Chelsea is not completely out of the question.

Following Messi's fax to Barcelona HQ telling the La Liga club he wants to leave on Tuesday evening, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand sent out a tweet throwing up the suggestion the Argentina international is moving to Chelsea.

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That has since been followed up by eagle-eyed observers who have noticed the 33-year-old follows Chelsea on Instagram alongside the Argentina national team, his hometown club Newell's Old Boys and Manchester City - who are managed by his former boss Pep Guardiola. Does any of this suggest anything? Who knows, but speculation around his next move is mounting at a ferocious pace.

Either way if the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is not just bluffing to try and force through presidential candidate Victor Font to succeed Josep Bartomeu with immediate effect, and it proves true that the Argentine really is out the door, then Chelsea seem a credible contender for his signature.

Chelsea have already been one of the biggest spenders in this transfer window worldwide, in front of a Covid-19 backdrop, having secured marquee signings Timo Werner (reportedly for £48m) and Hakim Ziyech (£33.4m). Frank Lampard's side are about to secure experienced Brazil international Thiago Silva on a free transfer after his release from Paris Saint-Germain and are also reportedly weighing up moves for Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan to replace unsettled Kepa Arrizabalaga and Leicester's Ben Chilwell to slot in as their new first-choice left-back.

Should highly-rated Germany international forward Kai Havertz join from Bayer Leverkusen for a club-record fee of £72m as well then that is yet another strong signal Chelsea are assembling the necessary firepower to seriously challenge for the Premier League title for the first time since lifting it in 2017.

Messi does not have a Premier League winners' medal in his extensive trophy cabinet, an argument made when Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons are drawn in the greatest of all time (GOAT) debate. Maybe he needs one to silence those critics.

It is also no secret Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich loves the Champions League and will sack any manager who cannot, at the very least, secure his team a place in the competition. The 2012 winners have not even reached the semi-final stage since 2014 and the Russian oligarch has only witnessed his team win Europe's most prestigious football tournament once. With Chelsea's transfer embargo in the past and time moving on, getting the chequebook out to sign one of greatest footballers to have ever walked the earth would give Lampard more than a shot at winning it for the club again.

If Messi wants to be at the heart of a youthful team on an upward trajectory, with lots of money and points to prove at home and abroad, then he may find a home in southwest London.

FAN VIEW - Chelsea should go for Messi

Eurosport's Sam Few

It has been a purposeful transfer window for Chelsea, who have made a statement of intent with their business to date. Ziyech and Werner whet the appetite of the Chelsea faithful who are hoping to see deals for Silva, Chilwell and Havertz completed in the coming days.

The absolute priority for Lampard is to strengthen his goalkeeping and defensive options, but then Messi decides he wants out of Barcelona and who wouldn’t want to enter the scramble for his services?

In light of Chelsea’s spending thus far they could be biting off more than they can chew with an attempt to lure the Argentine to London. Meanwhile, his relationship with Guardiola could favour a potential move to Manchester City.

Chelsea have an abundance of attacking options at their disposal and Messi is not one for the bench, meaning that something or someone will have to give. That being said, it’s not often that one of the best players to have graced our game offers an invitation like this.

It is clear that Lampard has ambition and a move for Messi would be a statement like no other. He may not win the race, but I would argue there is a temptation to at least be a part of it.

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