Barcelona captain Lionel Messi could leave the club and its supporters shell-shocked by committing an unthinkable act in the upcoming calendar year.
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was the central focus of the summer transfer window. The 33-year-old asked to leave the club and was tipped to join Manchester City before the 2020/21 season kicked off, but stayed later on after negotiations over his release were unclear to either party and the player refused to take legal action against the club.
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Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board remained firm on the stance that Messi’s release clause of 700 million euros must be paid by any club willing to buy him. On the other hand, the player believed he was allowed to walk for free at the end of any season until June 10, but given the uncertain 2019/20 campaign, he was held hostage by the board’s benefit of doubt.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City remain the only clubs who can afford to sign the mercurial maestro, considering the wages he would occupy. Out of the two clubs sponsored from the middle east, it looks more likely that the latter will win the race considering its playing style is similar to Barca’s and would help Messi.
Not to mention, the presence of Pep Guardiola as the head coach will also play a crucial in tipping Messi’s balance in the Premier League side’s favour. The 6-time Ballon d’Or winner had the most successful years of his career under the former Barcelona coach and has always been full of admiration for the 50-year-old.
According to Mirror, the Blaugrana are expecting Messi to do the unthinkable and join the Citizens during 2021. His contract at the Camp Nou expires in June, but given that he is over 23, Messi can negotiate an agreement starting from January itself and will be legally allowed to sign a pre-contract deal ahead of a switch at the end of the season.