In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Lionel Messi sparks discussion on his footballing future after he reveals his intention to leave Barcelona and Ally McCoist talks about the Blues’ chances of challenging Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League next season.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Messi move on the cards?

Following the big news yesterday that Lionel Messi has submitted a transfer request to Barcelona, former England defender Rio Ferdinand has posted a tweet which suggests Chelsea are keen to sign the Argentinian superstar.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has spent his entire career at the Nou Camp but he reportedly sent a fax to the club on Tuesday saying he wishes to exercise a clause in his contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.

With Messi potentially leaving the club where he made his professional debut in 2004, Manchester City and Inter Milan are reported to be the leading contenders to sign the 33-year-old.

However, Ferdinand believes he could move to west London to join the Blues, who have already signed Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner and have been linked in media reports in recent days with a number of other potential big-name signings.

‘Just heard Frank Lampard is now in for Messi,’ tweeted the former Manchester United player.

‘Some [transfer] window this if Frank pulls this off!’

McCoist fascinated by Blues’ upcoming campaign

Former Scotland striker Ally McCoist has told TalkSport he is looking forward to watching Chelsea in action in the upcoming season as he expects the Blues to pose a strong challenge to Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League.

Having secured a top-four finish in Lampard’s first season in charge, McCoist believes the Blues will continue to make progress after completing the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and possibly bringing in more big names during the current transfer window.

‘You’d have to consider them,’ said McCoist of the Blues’ chances of challenging for the Premier League.

‘The statement, we’re always speaking about it that Frank had a very, very good season but now he’s clearly getting the opportunity to bring the players he wants at the club and it’ll be really fascinating to see how they do next year.

‘I would fully expect them to be a lot closer to Liverpool and City at the top of the table.’

Blues linked with French midfielder

According to The Sun, the Blues have joined Leicester in the battle for highly rated France international midfielder Jonathan Ikone.

‘Le10 Sport say Lille will not force Ikone's hand though and instead listen to what the player wants to do,’ states the report.

‘His options are to either leave now or stay for another year. It will be a tough decision for the 22-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain star especially given Inter Milan are another club said to be looking for a deal.

Ikone, who scored three goals and provided six assists in 28 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille last season reportedly has a market value of around £32million.