The football world exploded with news of Messi informing Barcelona he wants to leave the club this summer after close to two decades with the Catalan giants. The Club confirmed on Tuesday that Messi sent a document expressing his desire to activate a release clause that would end his contract, which currently runs until next June. Messi had made his frustrations known over the past three years at the club. Messi sees the problems of Barcelona as more structural and hasn’t been happy with any of the significant decisions the club’s board has made in recent seasons. People say Messi has a lot of power in the club and that he talks directly to the board. However, in recent times, Messi’s wishes in Barcelona has fallen on deaf ears. His requests to bring back Neymar from PSG last season and also keep former coach Ernesto Valverde didn’t happen. It has become evident that Messi doesn’t hold that power at the club anymore.
Messi’s relationship with the club has deteriorated even more, and he is not happy to play anymore for Barcelona because the club requires deep surgery to get back to their best and win the Champions League. The club’s questionable recruitment policy over the past three years has cost them badly. Two seasons ago, Barcelona was holding a 3-0 advantage over Liverpool in the first leg but capitulated in the second leg, losing 4-0 at Anfield. In the 2019-20 season, Barcelona relinquished their La Liga crown to eternal rivals Real Madrid before suffering an 8-2 humiliation in the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich. According to reports from Spain, Messi held a meeting with Coach Ronald Koeman following the Dutchman’s appointment as the new manager of Barcelona.
The reports indicate that the meeting didn’t go well from Messi’s opinion. The future of Luis Suarez at the club could also be another reason why he has decided to leave Barcelona this summer because he is good friends with the Uruguayan Striker. At the moment, the question remains: Will Messi be able to force his way out and find a club who can pay his hefty release clause in the current economic climate?
Where will Messi end up next season?
Manchester City could be the best option for Messi because of money, Guardiola, and the Premier League. Man City have the resources to finance such a significant transfer deal with the prospect of a reunion between Messi and Guardiola at Man City. In the board room of Man City, former executives of Barcelona, Txiki Begristain, and Ferran Soriano were both so influential in Barcelona’s successes a decade ago. If Man City can pursue Messi’s signature, there is a possibility that the trio will get the opportunity to repeat the Barcelona glory days at Man City. The Champions League is a title both Messi and Guardiola are desperate to win again. If Messi joins Man City, both men might have a better chance of winning it together. Ligue 1 champions PSG also has the financial means to afford a player like Messi and reunite him with Neymar. PSG is also desperate to lift the Champions League, and their recent loss in the final to Bayern Munich might motivate them to sign Messi. A dream front three of Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe would send a strong signal to the rest of the clubs in Europe. There are other reports that Messi might choose to back to his boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys, since he once said that the Argentine club was where he would retire. A move back to Argentina might also represent a drop in playing standards since he can still perform close to his peak.
Messi has been the recipient of a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his time at Barcelona and has helped the club win 10 Spanish league titles and four Champions League titles.
His incredible exploits and achievements at Barcelona make him arguably the greatest player to play for the club. It, therefore, isn’t a surprise that Barcelona is desperate to let him stay. Even though Messi wants to leave the club imminently, there is a little bit of confusion. There is a clause within Messi’s contract, which states he can go for free should he decide to do so, which is a get out of jail free clause at the end of every season, but Barcelona disagrees that the clause is still active. The clause is said to have expired on June 10, 10 days after the original date of the Champions League finals. However, Messi’s camp is arguing that the clause is still active after UEFA rescheduled the finals to August 23 because of the COVID -19 pandemic. From the way things are going, there might be legal battles to determine whether Messi can leave for free or for a hefty fee of 700 million euros, which is the amount in his buyout clause.