Is Messi Leaving Barcelona in 2021?
The Catalan daily Sport has published tomorrow’s front-page splash in which it claims that Barcelona will not be able to hold on to Lionel Messi beyond 2021 when his current contract with the club expires. The paper states that came from a conversation between the player and “a longtime friend”, following the Clasico defeat at Camp Nou last weekend.
“He’s going to leave Barca,” the friend is reported as saying. “It was harder for him than anyone else to go through what happened on Sunday and he’s convinced that it’s his last season with Barcelona.”
Sport says Messi has decided not to renew his contract with the club, instead of setting his sights on a move to the Premier League with Manchester City and Chelsea, or even a return to his former club Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina.
It is also claimed that Messi will reveal his decision on April 8th when he appears before the media at some point between March and June this year. Even as this happens, the fans can continue betting and playing on NetBet, while waiting for the outcome. If it proves true then Barcelona is expected by many observers to pull out all the stops in their attempts to sign a replacement for Messi.
The usual suspects such as Neymar and Luis Suarez have been mentioned by Barcelona fans, but it is Griezmann who they are hoping will turn out to be the man to replace him.
Highlights of Messi’s Career at Barcelona
It would also provide FC Barcelona with the opportunity to include a buy-out clause in Griezmann’s contract which they did not do when Neymar signed for them. The Brazilian had previously stated that he had no intention of leaving Camp Nou, but his move to PSG last summer showed that money talks and Neymar were said to be earning more than double the amount that Messi was on.
Despite suggestions in other media outlets that Barcelona is preparing a new contract offer for Messi, Sport simply claims that if he leaves the club it will be “to win trophies and to enjoy himself”. It is also stated again that he has not made any decision about his future but an announcement is believed to be imminent.
The front cover of tomorrow’s issue of Sport does not go down well with Barcelona fans who are already angry at the state of their team, and they have reacted by burning copies of it following its release. The Catalan media outlet has also been accused of lying before too.
There is no word yet on whether Messi has said anything to the Catalan media, but a confirmation from him that he will be leaving Barcelona might also be enough for the club to come out and deny it.
Even if Messi does announce his departure from Catalunya in two years’ time it would hardly come as a surprise after everything he has achieved throughout his career at Barcelona. The fact that he has remained at Camp Nou for so long is a testament to his loyalty towards the club, but life does change and it could be time for him to seek a new challenge somewhere else.
In any case, everything seems to point towards Messi leaving Barcelona when his current contract expires in 2021. All eyes are on the football star on his next move, as he will become a free agent if he leaves the Catalan club.
While he has already said that Barcelona is his home and will always be, it still remains to be seen if the Argentine finds a way to remain at Camp Nou beyond 2021. Barca fans will just have to wait and hope they can find another star to fill the shoes of Lionel Messi.