Leo Messi has been in Barcelona for so long that we all thought the Argentinian maestro won’t play for another club ever. That’s how it looked for most of his career, at least.
Sure, Messi had some issues with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he followed Chelsea on Instagram during some turbulent time back in 2015, which brought panic attacks to many Barcelona fans.
And yet, it never seemed like Messi will actually leave, at least until now. The surprising move to fire Ernesto Valverde raised the tension around the club and the sporting director Eric Abidal decided to publicly say that some players weren’t giving their best for the head coach.
Messi’s reaction was to urge him to share names and the situation got messy (yes, pun intended!) real quick. According to the latest rumours, the playmaker might be leaving in the summer.
Let’s see some of the details that matter in the current situation.
Messi’s Current Contract
In theory, Leo Messi is under contract with Barcelona until 2021, but there is a clause that allows him on a free transfer this summer. This is probably the main reason why the Argentinian might be out of the door.
Every single club in the world will want to sigh such a player for free, even if he’s on the wrong end of 30. Honestly, the speculations have started already and as expected, all top teams from Europe are mentioned which leads us to the next point.
When you are one of the best players to ever grace the game, you have the luxury to pick your next club. Especially when you can leave for free.
Distinguishing the realistic contenders for Messi’s signature is a hard job. The first criteria that spring in mind are that the team has to be competitive and it must not be named Real Madrid.
That leaves us with several candidates. Manchester City and Liverpool in England, Bayern Munich, probably Juventus and PSG.
I would rule out the Italian champions, as I don’t think that Messi will join Cristiano Rolando, although the idea is entertaining.
PSG is known for the toxic locker room which is why Messi might leave Barcelona. I don’t think he will join the club.
I would probably rule out Liverpool, as the side has a good thing going. As strange as it may sound, this probably is the only club in the world that doesn’t need Lionel Messi right now. Jurgen Klopp has a bunch of players in the prime, upcoming youngsters, and a group that is in perfect harmony.
There are only two teams left on the list: Bayern Munich and Manchester City. The English side is led Pep Guardiola and that’s the deciding factor for me.
Messi had some of his best years under the Spaniard and a reunion will be welcome on many levels. The club also needs a change after a relatively weak season so far.
There are still several months by the end of the season, so I don’t think we should accept Messi’s potential exit as a done deal. Leaving a club after so many years is not an easy decision and I won’t be shocked if the Argentinian signs a new deal.
If decides to change his team, Manchester City looks like the overwhelming favorite for his services.