Barcelona had to deal with the very real feeling of what life would be like without Lionel Messi over the past few weeks, but it sounds like their relief over his U-turn will be very short lived.
An exclusive report from Eurosport has confirmed that he’s decided to stay and play at Barcelona this season, but Man City are very confident of landing him on a free transfer next summer.
It still sounds like there is some ill feeling between Messi and the club as he feels they went back on their promise to let him go for free, while it’s becoming clear that he wanted to leave but there was no club that had the finances to make it happen.
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In some ways this could be even worse for Barca because his contract will be up so there’s nothing they can do to stop him leaving for free, while they’ll find it impossible to find a reasonable replacement at a good price because everyone is going to ramp their prices up if they come calling.
The report goes on to say that City are confident they will be able to complete negotiations with Messi and his father to sign him next summer, so it looks like Barca fans will have to endure a slow lingering goodbye rather than a sudden one.
At least it gives him another season to win La Liga or the Champions League and go out as a hero, but expect the pitchforks to come out very quickly if things don’t go well.