Lionel Messi has reportedly has asked to leave Barcelona immediately rather than waiting until his current contract ends in 2021.
Rumours surrounding Messi’s future at Barcelona have circulated for a while. However they ramped up considerably following their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich on Friday night.
The news was reported by Marcelo Bechler, the journalist that first reported Neymar’s move to PSG. Reporting for Esporte Interativo, Bechler claims that Messi wants to leave Barcelona immediately rather than see out his contract which ends in 2021.
URGENTE! Conforme apuração EXCLUSIVA do nosso correspondente @MarceloBechler, Messi quer DEIXAR o Barcelona IMEDIATAMENTE! Insatisfeito com a administração e falta de planejamento, o craque argentino já comunicou à direção o desejo de mudar de clube. pic.twitter.com/yGBdOAVf9j
— Esporte Interativo (de 🏠) (@Esp_Interativo) August 16, 2020
Messi’s current buy-out clause is set at £635million. This means few clubs have the financial capacity to lure him away from the Nou Camp. Manchester City have been linked with his signature while Manchester United have the necessary funds to acquire his services.
According to Graeme Souness, they could both be in the picture.
“Lionel Messi looked like a man who has had enough of carrying that team,” Souness wrote in The Times.
“Without him, they wouldn’t even be good enough to qualify for the Champions League.
“This would be the perfect week to put a bid in for the 33-year-old Argentinian and I could easily see him playing in Manchester — at either United or City.”
Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand also believes that Messi will be pondering his future given that he still has a few more seasons at the top level.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 14, 2020
“Does he want to spend his time left in that shirt given the performances and the way the squad is looking at the moment in comparison to other teams around Europe? Has he got the time to sit there and wait?” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“Football is a game that comes and goes very quickly in your life, so these next two years where he’s still going to have the power to influence games the way he does, is he going to want to be doing that but not competing for the big titles?”