- Messi calls off contract talks with Barcelona
- 33-year-old’s contract expires after next season
- Juventus, Man City listed as odds to sign Messi if he leaves Spain
2020 has been a difficult year for Barcelona. Not only are the Blaugrana in the process of choking away the La Liga title, but the side are also facing an unprecedented financial crisis. The club stands to lose millions in potential revenue, which could cause a fire sale of sorts at some point this summer. Barca have already sold young midfielder, Arthur, to Juventus for £82 million. It certainly won’t be the last piece of business the team conducts before the 2020-21 season begins.
While Barca will almost surely begin next season among favorites to win the Spanish top flight, could it be the final year at the Nou Camp for Lionel Messi?
On Friday, Spanish radio network Cadena Ser reported that Messi has called off contract negotiations with the club. Barcelona have been attempting to renew the 33-year-old’s contract, but Messi has suddenly indicated that he is ready to leave the only club he has ever known. His contract is set to expire after next season.
ESPN FC reported that Messi is reportedly angry with Barcelona’s brass. Messi is offended that the club’s higher-ups have essentially blamed him for many of the team’s issues this season, including the January sacking of former manager Ernesto Valverde. Messi is also frustrated with the team’s overall lack of quality.
Juve, City Favored For Messi’s Signature
Messi signed his most recent deal with the club back in 2017. The Argentina international earns an astounding $646,000 per week at Barcelona, and he scored his 700th career goal last Tuesday in the match against Atletico Madrid. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, however, and the Blaugrana are now four points adrift of Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table with just five games left to play.
It would be strange to see Messi wearing anything other than the legendary Barcelona kit, but it could become a reality unless the club are able to mend fences between now and the end of next season. Messi has won just about everything you can possibly win during his storied career at Barca, so perhaps it’s time for a new challenge.
Lionel Messi will be temped to reunite with Pep Guardiola at #ManCity as things turn sour at Barcelona, according to Rivaldo. Messi’s future is uncertain again with things not working out at the Nou Camp.
— City Chief (@City_Chief) July 4, 2020
If Messi is serious about leaving, his line of suitors will form to the left. Even though he’ll turn 34 next summer, it’s fair to assume Europe’s top clubs will all register at least passing interest in the player.
Oddsmakers have listed Juventus as the betting favorites to sign Messi if he does leave Barcelona. If he were to make the move, Messi would be teaming up in Turin with Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time ever. The two greatest players of this generation have enjoyed a storied rivalry against one another, so it would be fascinating to see them wearing the same shirt at the same time.
The updated next club odds for Messi are listed below:
|Club||Odds at BetOnline|
|Paris St. Germain||+750|
Things would have to get extremely bad between Messi and Barcelona for the player to even consider donning the famous white shirt of Real Madrid. We know Madrid register interest in just about every player under the sun, but it’s unfathomable to think that he would go that far.
Liverpool, United, MLS Moves Unlikely
A reunion with Pep Guardiola in Manchester makes some sense. Messi also has a close relationship with City striker and Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero, which could play a big role in Messi’s decision. City recently lost Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich, while Gabriel Jesus has often been linked with a move to Italy. Aguero isn’t getting any younger himself, and he has dealt with a number of injury issues in recent years.
Manchester United and Liverpool are relative long shots for Messi at +2000 apiece, while a move to the United States to play for an MLS club seems unlikely, as well.