Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona for Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, according to reliable journalist Marcelo Bechler. Bechler was the first journalist to break the news of Lionel Messi's wish of leaving Barcelona ahead of next season.
Bechler, in a video on his Twitter account, explained that Messi wants to play for Manchester City and although 'it hurts his soul' to leave his boyhood club, he considers it to be the end of a cycle. The humiliating loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League seems like the final nail in the coffin of an extraordinary journey for Messi and Barca.
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi to leave for Premier League side Manchester City
On Tuesday night, reports emerged that Lionel Messi, whose contract runs till 2021, faxed Barcelona about his wish to leave the club. Messi has a unique clause which enables him to terminate his contract with the Blaugrana at the end of each season.
The fax reportedly mentioned that Messi will not undergo the COVID-19 tests which are necessary to participate in the club's pre-season training. However, as per the clause in his contract, Messi had to inform the club on and before May 31st.
It is unclear how the Barcelona board will react to this message from their record goalscorer, or if the clause still holds good considering the fact that we are currently in August.
Former manager Pep Guardiola, who has built his own dynasty at Manchester, is in pole position to land his former prodigy, with whom he lifted both of his Champions League trophies.
Manchester City have already completed the signing of Ferran Torres from Valencia and Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. However, the club's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak confirmed that the Citizens are looking to add to Guardiola's squad ahead of the new Premier League season.
Manchester City finished 18 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League last season and exited the Champions League in the quarterfinal stage at the hands of Lyon. However, the addition of Messi, who scored 25 goals and contributed 21 assists in 33 La Liga appearances last season, can quickly turn around the fortunes for the Manchester side.
Published 26 Aug 2020, 12:41 IST