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Contract talks breakdown, Messi set to leave Barcelona

06/08/2021; 10:10 AM By : Steven D. Thompson

In what would come as one of the biggest news this summer, Lionel Messi’s time at Barcelona appears to have come to an end. Barcelona rocked their fans and the football world in general after they released the shocking statement on Thursday afternoon. It seemed unreal to see the Catalan side make a statement about the Argentine parting ways with the club.

Reports had earlier claimed that Barça could renew with Messi on Thursday morning, but it turned out to be pretty much the opposite.

A sour-ending for Barcelona and Messi

This piece of news still comes as a shock to many, considering that club president Joan Laporta severally mentioned the club’s confidence regarding Messi’s renewal in recent weeks. There are conflicting reports so far regarding the exact reason La Pulga will be leaving the Catalan giants. Spanish outlet Marca claim that a deal between all parties was not agreed upon and also add that Messi was displeased with the current Barca squad ahead of the new season.

In contrast, the statement from Barcelona claimed that a deal was agreed between player and club, but financial criteria from La Liga saw them ineligible to close a deal with the mercurial Argentine.

Whatever the truth may be, it is a sour ending to his 21-year association with the club, especially for someone who is the greatest Barcelona player of all time and also arguably one of the best of all time as well.

While football fans try to wrap their heads around the reason why Messi chose to leave the club, an even bigger question lies ahead.

Where could Messi go next?

It is a rather difficult question to answer, given that no one could have predicted this piece of news in the past 24 hours. Logically though, there are only two clubs that could realistically boast a chance at signing the Argentine.

Manchester City will come as one of those clubs, given their financial buoyance as well as Pep Guardiola’s relationship with Messi. However, the odds of going for such a signing after splashing out £100m alone on Grealish seems rather unlikely. You also have to consider that City remain in the hunt to sign Harry Kane. In fact, a report from The Times has ruled out the Citizens from pushing for such a move.

PSG are the other side that boasts such resources and such a move will seem more likely to the French capital. Who would have imagined the possibility of Messi and Ramos in the same team? However, a move for Messi will see him reunite with his former teammate and long-time friend in Neymar. It could also be the final piece of the puzzle in their quest for the Champions League.

With the World Cup just about a year away, one would imagine that Messi would still want to play European football at the top level. The news remains shocking to all and only time will tell what happens next with the Argentine.

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