Lionel Messi has already indicated that he won’t be looking to speak to any other clubs until his Barcelona contract comes to an end in June.
Will he stay or will he go? Nobody knows at this juncture, but the variables that are in play could well have a bearing on what happens.
For example, if Joan Laporta is elected as the new Barcelona president, there’s a possibility he may just have the charisma and nous to persuade the Argentinian to stay.
After all, he was the man in charge when giving Frank Rijkaard his marching orders and replacing him with an untested Pep Guardiola. What came next was footballing heaven.
Barca are far from that these days, and in fact, according to MARCA, 2020 was their worst year since Rijkaard was in charge. Another Dutchman, Ronald Koeman, is seemingly taking them back to the dark ages.
Ninety-nine goals scored is their lowest goalscoring output since 2004, and MARCA note there were other similarities with that point in time, such as trophy-less campaigns and a lower number of wins.
Messi is believed to want a competitive team at the very least in order for him to even consider staying at the Camp Nou.
Given that there’s apparently no money in the kitty for them to do precisely that, everything points to Man City being able to take advantage.