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Messi to Manchester City?

by Pete M.D.

Lionel Messi has asked to leave Barcelona this summer. The Argentine’s superstar contract is set to expire in 2021. Although he seems to have his mind made up on leaving now rather than later.

Only days after recording their worst-ever loss after losing to Bayern Munich 8-2 in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, captain and legend Léo Messi has asked to leave the club.

Manchester City is claimed to have the biggest chance of securing the player, and following reports of a conversation between Messi and Pep Guardiola just days ago, pieces of information suggest that there has also been a conversation between Messi’s entourage and the City hierarchy.

The journalist Marcelo Bechler, who was first to break the news of Neymar’s departure from Barcelona, is now claiming that Lionel Messi will seek to terminate his deal at the Nou Camp following expression of his desire to play for Manchester City.

This also could ultimately just be an attempt of getting another pay-rise but with more and more reports coming out of his desire to leave, this could be the final nail in the coffin for Messi’s career in Spain.

The idea of him leaving feels flimsy even before you consider all the other factors. Like the fact that the 33-year-old has been at the club since he was 13 years old and has never seriously hinted at a desire to leave.

Or the fact that if Bartomeu and the front office are part of the problem, there’s a good chance they will be gone by 2021; the president’s term expires and he will not seek re-election and every indication is that, whoever replaces him, there will be a major shake-up.

Messi’s salary is somewhere north of $70 million when factoring in bonuses and image rights, meaning he either takes a massive pay cut or you can count on one hand the number of clubs who can afford his salary.

The single biggest factor is that Messi has to want to do this. And for somebody to want to leave a club after two decades, during which he has won everything at club level.

The logical choice would be a return to his own country and his first club, Newell’s Old Boys. Just like when Carlos Tevez went home to Boca Juniors, forsaking the riches and spotlight offered by Juventus.

With the 2026 World Cup set to take place in North America, which implies more money flowing into the game regionally, plus rumors of a merger between MLS and the Liga MX, and the league’s own natural expansion, Messi would be the most important piece that finally puts the league over the top.

Messi’s last game could ultimately be the humiliating loss to Bayern Munich where he wasn’t able to influence the game whatsoever. The Argentine seemed to be outclassed by Alphonso Davies who defended him incredibly well.

Where do you think he could end up if he leaves Barcelona?

Let us know in the comments below.

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