According to Sky Sports, among others, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has asked to leave the Catalan club after a disappointing campaign. The 33-year-old is reported to be unhappy with the plans of new Blaugrana head coach Ronald Koeman, so has asked to activate a clause that allows him to leave as a free agent this summer.
His clause has expired
Messi did have a clause in his Barcelona contract that had a release clause. The problem for the veteran forward is that it expired on June 10th, a week and a half after the originally scheduled date for the Champions League final.
The expiration of that clause means that Messi’s future is very much still in the hands of Barcelona. Like any player, the Argentinian has to adhere to his contract. However, his advisors are hoping that the club allows him to leave as a free agent due to his loyalty and service to the Catalan giants.
What Messi’s options if he did leave?
It is far from certain that Lionel Messi will be allowed to leave Barcelona this summer just because that is what he wants to happen. The Catalan giants may want to sell some of their ageing stars, but the Argentinian certainly does not fall into the category of players that the club or new head coach Ronald Koeman wants to shift.
If Messi is available on a free then his potential destinations are certainly limited due to his massive pay packet.
Manchester City seem like the obvious destination for the 33-year-old if he were to leave Catalonia. The Citizens have the finances to sign Messi. There is also the presence of former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola in the Citizens dugout.
Guardiola is the coach that gave Messi his first real taste of first-team football at Barcelona. He had a massive part in his development, having also coached him in the club’s youth team. Understandably, the pair have a very strong relationship, which makes a move to Manchester a logical one for the forward.
The other destination that springs straight to mind is PSG. The Parisians are another super club, with wealthy owners, who have deep pockets. They have already spent a fortune bringing in the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, but signing Messi would be a massive coup for PSG.
Reports in Italy suggest that Inter could make a move for the Argentinian forward. His family have just bought property close to the Nerazzurri’s training ground. However, it is difficult to see how the Italian giants could afford the forward’s wages.
His future is unknown
In reality, the whole thing is a mess. Lionel Messi is a Barcelona legend and arguably the greatest footballer to have ever stepped on to a football pitch. He is loved in Catalonia, so nobody wants his time with the club to come to a bitter end. However, the Barcelona hierarchy are unlikely to allow Messi to leave without a fight. That could mean a long legal battle, which would be sad for such a loyal servant to the football club.
Lionel Messi’s future within football is unknown. There is a hope that it can all be settled amicably and the veteran star will be doing what he does best in the near future, bemusing defenders and delighting fans.
Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona this summer?
Are you looking to place a bet on Lionel Messi next destination? Well, well be sure to check out our betting page for the bookmakers we recommend for your wager.