Will Lionel Messi Leave Barcelona in January 2021?

Manchester City are the favourites to sign Lionel Messi if he leaves Barcelona in the 2021 January transfer window.

Will Lionel Messi Leave Barcelona in January 2021?

Messi Transfer Betting Odds*

Manchester City7/2
Paris Saint-Germain6/1
Inter Milan25/1

*To sign for before the January 2021 transfer deadline

The odds on Lionel Messi making a move in the January transfer window are drifting with the Barcelona legend much more likely to leave the club next summer.

Messi made headlines around the world when he handed in a transfer request last August, a decision which was made on the back of their disastrous Champions League exit.

The Catalan club were demolished 8-2 by eventual winners Bayern Munich, leaving Messi disheartened and cynical about the direction the club is heading.

However, the likelihood of legal action being required to get him out of his current contract at Barcelona put an end to the transfer speculation and Messi remains the club captain.

His contract expires in June 2021 though, meaning as of January he’s free to speak with other clubs about a pre-contract agreement ahead of next summer, with Manchester City thought to be weighing up an approach.

The prospect of losing Messi – one of the most marketable athletes on the planet – on a free transfer could force Barcelona to consider selling him at a cut price in January.

Indeed, bookmakers are already taking bets on who could jump the gun and buy the 33-year-old during the January transfer window with City leading the betting at 7/2.

There are only two other viable options though – Paris Saint-Germain are 6/1 second favourites while Inter Milan, backed by billionaire entrepreneur Zhang Jindong, are 25/1 outsiders.

Messi’s Next Club Contenders

French champions PSG hold the current world record fee for a transfer, having bought Messi’s old team-mate Neymar from Barcelona for an insane €222m in 2017.

They are still dining out on that investment and are therefore thought to be unable to afford Messi, particularly as they have Kylian Mbappe on high wages too.

Meanwhile, Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has previously played down links to Messi amid rumours the club’s majority shareholders are keen to finance the move.

However, even if they were to stump up the cash, last season’s Europa League finalists are unlikely to boast the pulling power required to sign a superstar of Messi’s ilk.

All of which favours Manchester City, who of course are managed by Messi’s former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

The pair remain close by all accounts, and with City by no means short of funding, a move to the Etihad seems feasible.

Guardiola and co. may have to settle for next summer though, with Messi likely to cling on to Barcelona’s 20/1 outright odds in the Champions League as he hopes to deliver what would be a sixth European Cup for his one and only club.