The news that Barcelona are unable to sign Lionel Messi because of financial constraints placed upon them by La Liga has hit the football world like a hammer.
Thursday began as any other day with news expected to filter out of the club by the evening that Messi had been re-signed by the club.
However, to everyone’s surprise, Barcelona let it be known that they were no longer in a position to offer their captain the deal previously on the table. So where will he end up?
The favourites to take Leo if the Ligue Un club can make a deal work with one eye still on FFP.
With the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Sergio Ramos and Gini Wijnaldum all in situ, with Messi in their ranks, Paris Saint-Germain should finally get over the line in the Champions League.
A reunion with Pep Guardiola? City, like PSG, are one of the only elite clubs that could afford him, and with Tottenham still putting a block on Harry Kane moving north, Messi becomes a serious consideration for the Citizens.
A stated desire to experience MLS before he retires gives David Beckham’s Inter Miami side a shot at acquiring the Argentinian, albeit two years before Messi had planned to move there.
The club’s financial position isn’t known but they’re likely to move heaven and earth in order to be able to bring him in.
Newell’s Old Boys
Let’s be honest. Lionel Messi doesn’t need the money he was being offered at Barcelona.
The pull of going back home to Newell’s and ending his career there is a serious option. It would require him to accept no longer playing at the very top of the game, and would at least end his story on a romantic note.
One thing in football is you never say never. Could the whole saga be a power play by Barcelona to put pressure on La Liga? Entirely possible. Leo has already agreed the contract with the club. Until he signs elsewhere, Barca are still in the mix.