After in many pundits opinion, a near never ending spell of mismanagament by the Barcelona board, it has now become clear that Messi wants to leave Barcelona.
Just what a Lionel Messi Barcelona exit would entail, have been eloquently described by Tim Vickery. However, there are also legal questions surrounding this matter, as Messi says that he can leave on free transfer while the club is convinced that this possibility is already expired.
The blows seems to be just never ending for Barcelona at the moment. A disappointing domestic season followed by a shocking 8-2 loss at the hands of Bayern Munchen in the Champions League semi final and now maybe even worse news in the form of likely losing one of the greatest players of all time.
The saga is not over, nobody knows the future, Messi could still end up staying in Barcelona, however the work of the Barcelona board should be carefully scrutinized. It seems clear that a conflict was established between the senior players and the board during the season, with Messi having to step forward to defend the player group when it was more or less accused of being the reason why Valverde, the manager, had been fired.
There is now rampant speculation that Lionel Messi will hook up with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. There is a bond of respect between the player and the manager and Manchester City is for sure one of the very few clubs who can actually afford Lionel Messi’s salary. This holds especially true in this day and age of the Covid19 pandemic.
It will be very interesting to follow how this story develops, but for now, it seems clear that Ronald Koeman will not have the start he was hoping for as Barcelona manager.