“I’m tired of always being the problem of everything at the club”
Those were the first words that Lionel Messi said to the press when he set foot on Spanish soil. The discomfort was generated by the insistent journalists who asked him about the controversial statements of a former agent and uncle Antoine Griezmann , who suggested that his nephew was not able to win in Barcelona because of Leo (“with Messi out there, I know what goes on inside is not easy. Messi is the dictatorship of terror”, they said).
However, his annoyance had begun to brew hours before. It is that as soon as he landed at the Catalan airport of El Prat, after contesting the double date of the South American Qualifiers with the Argentine National Team , first against Paraguay and then against Peru , a representative of the State Tax Administration Agency began to overwhelm him with different procedures and certain documentation that he required. “I arrive after 15 hours of flight and I am there at one of the Treasury… It’s crazy”, complained the Ten “culé”.
The truth is that, since the famous episode of the burofax and the confrontation with the former president of the club Josep Maria Bartomeu , the relationship between the Argentine and Barcelona seems to have totally cracked. And so La Pulga shows every time it has the opportunity. He is no longer that boy who only cared about showing his talent on the court, but now also has responsibilities for what happens outside of it.
Therefore, it would not be anything strange that, from next January 2, Messi begins to negotiate his departure from the Catalan club. Although his relationship with Barça ends on June 30, 2021, the regulations in force in Europe allow him to arrange an agreement with another institution as a free player up to six months before the contract deadline.
In this context, Manchester City would again charge to hire the best footballer on the planet in the next transfer market, without having to wait until mid-2021. According to the British newspaper The Sun, the English club would be determined to bid in January next between 50 and 60 million euros to hire the Argentine striker.
In that sense, the contract would be divided into two stages: two years at a Premier League club plus another two seasons at the American franchise New York City FC. It is that both institutions belong to the same business group: City Football Group, which would be willing to get the highest possible profit from the last years of Messi’s career.
In addition, according to the British press, the transaction could include the pass of the Spanish central defender Eric García, 19, who would be to Barça’s taste and, therefore, would end up making the final figure cheaper if he entered as part of payment . Meanwhile, the weak economy of the Catalan club makes it difficult to reject the inflow of euros so necessary to stabilize the accounts.
In parallel, almost as a “coincidence”, Pep Guardiola extended his bond in Manchester City on Thursday until … June 2023 . The chances are increasing that one of the most successful societies in football will return, which knew how to shine in Barcelona from 2008 to 2012 and which won three Leagues, two Champions League, two Copas del Rey, three Spanish Super Cups, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups.However, there is another factor that will determine Messi’s fate. The result of the presidential elections that will take place in the Catalan club on January 24 remains to be known. Meanwhile, Víctor Font, friend of former soccer player Xavi Hernández and one of the candidates to be chosen as the boss of the Blaugrana institution, assured in dialogue with Cadena Cope that he hopes that Leo does not leave the team.
“Xavi is the best possible person to lead our sports project. I want Messi to listen to us and see our intentions. We want him to know our project. It is essential for us that he does not leave. And the best person to convince Leo is Xavi. Messi is irreplaceable for us,” Font said.
After 20 years of his arrival, the end of Leo in Barcelona is closer than ever.
In a few years, if his time at the Spanish club is analyzed in perspective, it will be impossible to deny that Messi changed the history of the institution. Before his arrival, Barcelona had only one Champions League. Now he has five. With Leo , the team became champion of ten leagues, while in all its history it had won only 16. Spanish Super Cup? It went from five to 13. In summary, the club’s showcases show 43 more glasses.