An agent who helped bring Lionel Messi to Barcelona as a youngster has made a rather surprising and bold prediction on his future this summer.
The Argentine superstar has dominated headlines recently as he looks set to quit Barcelona after spending his entire career at the Nou Camp.
Manchester City are among those being linked with Messi by the Telegraph, but Josep Maria Minguella has been quoted as saying he feels 90 per cent sure that the 33-year-old will actually end up staying with his current club.
“They’ve jumped into the swimming pool,” Minguella is quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “Someone suggested to them that the delay in the season would mean the dates would change.
“I understand that the contract remains totally in effect, that there hasn’t been any change in the dates.
“With the passing of time, there is contact between the two legal teams. Right now, Messi’s legal team don’t see the situation clearly.
“The interpretation of the clause stops any institution coming in to buy a player saying he is free,” he said. “One day, there is the legal threat that they have to pay anything from one euro to 700million.
“There is a 90 per cent chance that Messi will continue at Barca.”
Barca fans will hope this is accurate, as it’s hard to imagine how the struggling side could recover if their star player left this summer following such a poor season on the pitch, when he remained one of their only in-form players.
Barcelona may have surrendered their La Liga title and crashed out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion with an 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich, but Messi still finished with a superb record of 31 goals and 24 assists in all competitions.
New manager Ronald Koeman will face a hugely challenging job at Barcelona if he is immediately faced with losing one of the greatest players in footballing history.
Man City, however, will hope to capitalise on this situation and make one of the most exciting signings ever seen in the Premier League.
With Pep Guardiola’s side missing out on the Premier League title last season, what a response this would be as they look to get the trophy back off Liverpool in 2020/21.