WILL LIONEL MESSI LEAVE BARCELONA THIS SUMMER?
FC Barcelona’s struggles may have only just begun with Lionel Messi reportedly wanting to leave once his contract expires this summer. The club have been underperforming for years with embarrassing defeats to the likes of AS Roma, Liverpool and Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Messi is unhappy at the club according to Catalan news outlets and wants one big payday and another shot at Champions League glory.
Two clubs that can offer this to Lionel Messi are English side Manchester City and French club Paris Saint Germain. Both clubs have heavy financial backing and would be willing to do whatever it takes to bring the Argentine superstar to their respective clubs. Each of these sides are building projects with the sole goal of winning the UEFA Champions League and Messi would be an integral part of their plans.
At Manchester City, their attacking options include Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Ferran Torres, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Agüero and the inclusion of Lionel Messi would improve this lineup no end. Talk of Riyad Mahrez departing the club has been circulating for a while now and the club may decide to offload him if they are to bring in Messi.
Sergio Agüero is also rumoured to leave the club on a free transfer once his current deal expires which means they’d have a large chunk of wage budget available once his deal runs out. The club reportedly wants to bring in a striker if Agüero leaves which would be difficult if they were to sign Messi too, but don’t rule it out.
Pep Guardiola was Lionel Messi’s former manager at FC Barcelona where he won the Champions League in his time at the club. Manchester City will want the two to relink and recreate their success in England and European competition.
Paris Saint Germain are also interested in Lionel Messi and definitely have the funds to do so. After spending over £300 million on both Neymar and Mbappe in the same transfer window, the club have proven they can compete with the top clubs in the transfer market.
An inclusion of Lionel Messi into the PSG attack would mean they’d be able to field a front three of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi which would result in the club having one of the most dangerous attacks of all time. FFP (Financial Fair Play) may be a hurdle for the club to overcome with each of their top attackers demanding large wages, however, PSG have overcome it in the past and could do so again.
Talk of Kylian Mbappe leaving the club to join Real Madrid could be a big part of the Lionel Messi saga. If the Parisian club offloads Mbappe for a large transfer fee, they’d be able to bring in Messi on big wages and offer him the same as they were paying Kylian Mbappe.
Messi would then likely play on the wing with fellow countryman Mauro Icardi at striker whilst also joining Argentinians Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and head coach Mauricio Pochettino.