Will Lionel Messi Leave Barcelona This Summer?

Lionel Messi remains a Barcelona player for now, although it could the case that La Liga don't allow him to stay at the Nou Camp considering that the Catalan club are experiencing severe financial woes right now. It appears that Barcelona need to make around $200million in salary cuts and that has led to increased speculation that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner might be heading to a new club next season.

Will Lionel Messi Leave Barcelona This Summer?

Messi Transfer Betting Odds*

TeamBest OddsBookmaker
Manchester City11/2Betfair
Paris Saint-Germain6/1William Hill
Any MLS Club20/1William Hill
Inter Milan25/1William Hill
Juventus33/1William Hill
Manchester Utd33/1Betfair
Chelsea50/1William Hill
Liverpool50/1William Hill

*Odds up to date as of July 13, 2021


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Lionel Messi might well have played his final game for FC Barcelona. Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo, the Argentina maestro has never played for anyone else although it appears that his hand might be forced this summer considering that the Catalan club are in a financially sticky position and the only way free might be to cut their prize jewel loose.

Therefore, Messi may well have made his last ever appearance for the club he joined at the age of 13, and with whom he has won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and seven Copa del Reys.

Messi tried to leave Barcelona last year, when it felt like every day brought a new twist or turn in the saga. It is strange that, with a few weeks remaining on his deal, Messi’s case has not attracted the same attention of those of Harry Kane and Erling Haaland, neither of whom are free to do as they please.

There is no doubt that the 34-year-old is past his peak, but he still scored 38 goals in 47 games in all competitions last term, while he also helped Argentina to win the recent Copa America. There is not a team in world football that would not be improved by his presence. Barcelona are still more likely to retain his services than not, but they would certainly not have wanted to have the issue still unresolved at this late stage. There is life in the Messi transfer saga yet.

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A Reunion With Pep in Manchester?

If Messi does bid farewell to Catalonia, Manchester is perhaps his most likely destination – and not because of the weather. There are several reasons why Manchester City are favourites with several betting sites to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or, who would surely stand a better chance of Champions League success at the Etihad Stadium than the Camp Nou next season.

First, Messi has worked with Guardiola before, and the City boss has never been shy in proclaiming his opinion that the Argentina international is the greatest player of all time. Guardiola would surely relish the chance to work with Messi one more time before the latter retires.

Second, City could afford him, even if Messi would need to take a pay cut from the astronomical £500,000-a-week wages he reportedly receives at present. City have tended not to pay huge transfer fees – in relative terms, of course – for players, but they do not mind splashing out on salaries.

And third, City were strongly interested in Messi last summer and would arguably benefit from him even more next term. Guardiola used a false-nine system last season and there is no one better in that role than the Barcelona legend.

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PSG Could add Another Star to Their Ranks

You might reason that the PSG frontline does not have room for another superstar, but that would be to disregard the club’s transfer policy under Qatari ownership. What’s more, Kylian Mbappe faces an uncertain future, and if PSG get the sense that the Frenchman is edging closer to the exit door – he has stalled on signing an extension to a contract that expires in 2022 – they may well make a move for Messi.

Neymar, who committed his future to PSG by signing a new long-term deal earlier this year, has spoken openly of his desire to play with Messi again. And who better to bring to a club desperate to take the final step in the Champions League?

PSG are also one of the few clubs who would have little trouble meeting Messi’s wage demands, although like City they will surely refuse to match his current terms.

America or Italy Calling for the Argentine?

“I would like to play in the United States and experience life and the league there,” Messi said last December. That is significant from a man who, despite his status, tends to keep his private life under wraps. It seems inevitable that Messi will play in MLS one day; the only question is whether this summer is too early or not.

On balance it is probable that Messi would rather sign a one-year deal with Barcelona than head to the United States in the coming weeks. Yet the prospect of living somewhere like Miami or Los Angeles clearly appeals to the Argentine, so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he will be plying his trade in MLS in 2021.

Messi is of Italian descent and would have been eligible to play his international football for Italy. There are significant barriers to a Serie A move, though. Inter are in financial disarray and have just lost Antonio Conte. Star players like Romelu Lukaku could be sold.

Juventus seems the more likely destination, yet any move to Turin would surely depend on Cristiano Ronaldo seeking pastures new. The Ronaldo project has not been a resounding success, so Juventus will be wary of bringing another brilliant but ageing superstar to the club.

Three Premier League Outsiders

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all given an outside chance of landing Messi. Of those, Chelsea is the best pick. Messi does not really fit with Jurgen Klopp’s high-octane style of play, while United have already drawn up a list of costly transfer targets that includes Harry Kane and Sancho.

Chelsea are no strangers to splashing the cash, and Messi would surely be open to joining the European champions. It is clearly an outside shot, but it is easier to envisage him plying his trade at Stamford Bridge next season, rather than Old Trafford or Anfield.

New Contract at Barcelona?

Barcelona fans appear reasonably confident of keeping hold of their best ever player – and with good reason. The Catalans do have significant financial problems, but their contract offer to Messi is still likely to be better than anyone else’s. It might be the safe choice, but the 10-time La Liga winner is likely to be pushing for an 11th crown with Barcelona in 2021/22.


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