The 33-year-old Messi caused a media storm when he publicly announced that he wanted to leave the club on a free in the recently concluded transfer window.
Despite the player being contracted to Barcelona until the end of the 2020-21 season, a clause in his contract enabled him to leave the club on a free a season prior as long as he informed them of his intentions within the stipulated transfer window period.
However, Barcelona and La Liga alleged that the clause wouldn't hold up legally due to the season ending much later than usual due to the coronavirus-enforced break.
Unwilling to drag the 'club of his dreams' to court, Messi publicly revoked his desire to leave and decided to stay at Barcelona to play under new manager Ronald Koeman.
Manchester City in pole position to land Lionel Messi
However, a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola hasn't been ruled out with Manchester City willing to pay cash-strapped Barcelona a nominal fee to massage through the transfer.
It is understood that Lionel Messi is also keen on playing under Pep Guardiola again. Surprisingly, the report also claims that the playmaker has one eye on a move to the MLS as well.
However, traditional heavyweights like Juventus, Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG are said to be interested in the Argentine's services too.
City, though, are in pole position to secure the signature of the attacker after Omar Berrada, their Chief Football Operations Manager, claimed that the club had the necessary financial room to accommodate the player's stratospheric wage bill.
However, it is fair to expect that Lionel Messi's exit from Barcelona may not be straightforward.
The player has previously claimed to be disillusioned at the way club president Josep Bartomeu operates but with a new face potentially taking over from him, Messi's resolve to leave the club may be tested.Published 18 Oct 2020, 14:13 IST