According to a report published by ESPN, Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is still intent on leaving the Catalan club and will likely join Manchester City next year. The Argentine talisman is furious with the Barcelona board and has expressed his desire to leave the Spanish giants.
Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona in this summer transfer window was blocked by Josep Maria Bartomeu. Manchester City were the frontrunners to land the superstar's signing but were unable to activate Lionel Messi's astronomical release clause at Barcelona.
Manchester City are one of the richest clubs in the Premier League and are arguably one of the only clubs in the world that can afford to complete Lionel Messi's transfer from Barcelona. The Cityzens have not been at their best this season and a move for the Barcelona captain can potentially rejuvenate Pep Guardiola's side.
Lionel Messi's animosity with the Barcelona board has been well-documented over the past few months. The Argentine was desperate to leave the club this summer but was denied an exit after a legal loophole was found in his contract.
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi draws closer to Manchester City move
Barcelona endured a dismal season this past year and the management came under heavy scrutiny after the Catalans fell to a catastrophic 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. The much-maligned Barcelona president was the primary target of criticism as a passionate fanbase demanded a transition.
Lionel Messi added fuel to the fire when he spoke his heart out in a tell-all interview after a disappointing season. The Barcelona captain spoke against the management and claimed that the club lacked a clear vision and sporting project.
The Argentine star also claimed that a clause in his contract allowed him to leave Barcelona on a free transfer at a time of his choosing. Barcelona deemed the clause invalid, however, and kept Lionel Messi at the club against his wishes.
Lionel Messi is keen on seeing out his contract at Barcelona and is likely to complete his move to Manchester City next season. The Argentine forward has started his season at Barcelona well and has shown no indication of taking what could be his final season at his boyhood club lightly.
Manchester City have plenty of attacking talent in their ranks and the addition of Lionel Messi could potentially propel Pep Guardiola's side to Champions League glory next season. The Premier League giants have struggled in recent weeks and will have to make a few changes to their squad next summer.
Barcelona have started the season on a positive note under Ronald Koeman and will look to get the best out of Lionel Messi as the season progresses. The Barcelona captain will want to finish his career at the club on a high and will want to do well this season.
Barcelona have currently managed seven points from their first three La Liga fixtures so far. The Catalans have faced difficult opponents at the start of their campaign and will be happy with their growth under Ronald Koeman.
Published 10 Oct 2020, 18:25 IST