Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi may have to spend an entire year without a club if he leaves this summer, according to the latest transfer news on this quite remarkable saga.
The Argentina international’s name is dominating headlines at the moment, and it sounds like things are only going to continue to get more complicated.
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According to ESPN, it may well be that Messi is obliged to go a year without signing for another club or taking any salary if he walks out on his current Barca deal, which is being interpreted in a number of different ways.
The report explains that the 33-year-old feels he is no longer a Barcelona player, but La Liga have released an official statement siding with the Catalan giants on this, insisting that they won’t sign off a move for the player unless his release clause is met, or unless Barcelona agree to a sale.
This really is one of the most remarkable transfer stories of recent times, with Messi spending his entire career with Barcelona up to now, but now possibly heading for the exit door in the most bitter way imaginable.
Few would have predicted this even a few weeks ago, but it’s perhaps not a surprise Messi is eager for a new challenge as Barcelona go through a real rough patch on and off the pitch.
The South American forward’s individual form remained of the highest quality in 2019/20, but his club missed out on the La Liga title and were thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in a humiliating Champions League exit.
Manchester City have been strongly linked with Messi by the Telegraph in what would be an exciting move, but it seems we may have to wait some time before seeing him in the Premier League.
City fans will no doubt hope something gives in all this that allows Messi to move to the Etihad Stadium as soon as possible.