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President confirms Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona to join Chelsea


La Liga president Javier Tebas admits Lionel Messi could leave Spain after he was found guilty of tax fraud.

At the start of the week the Argentinean has been linked with a possible move to Chelsea or Manchester City.

And Tebas says the 29-year-old could be tempted by a move to the English Premier League.

"Of course I fear that [Messi] could leave," he told reporters.

"The only thing I can tell him is that from La Liga we believe he isn't guilty and we are happy to have him here.

"I don't think he is a criminal – I don't believe he knew anything.

"I think the Supreme Court will overturn the sentence. He was sucked in by a risky fiscal program that has brought these consequences.

"But you cannot forget that he has contributed over £135million to the Spanish state. That money has built motorways and hospitals.

"There is no prejudice or personal attack against Messi or against Barcelona. The world of sport is under investigation."

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Javier Tebas, Lionel Messi