It doesn’t take much to get tongues wagging and media salivating, does it?! Lionel Messi bites back at what he considers to be an over-the-top attack on Barcelona’s first-team squad by former player, now technical director, Eric Abidal, and the ‘Messi to Man City’ headlines are up within minutes.

It’s almost laughable.

There’s every reason to believe that City, and anyone else with a bottomless pit of cash waiting, would want to sign Leo if he were available, but he isn’t.

Those saying that he doesn’t have a new contract because he’s going to walk out at the end of the season are, frankly, living in cloud cuckoo land.


His sons were born in Barcelona and he’s said on numerous occasions that he and his family are settled there.

So settled in fact, that it’s to the point where he’d even forego a last hurrah at childhood club, Newell’s Old Boys, something that had very definitely been considered in the past.

Not to mention the debt he feels he still owes to the club for helping to pay for his growth hormone injections when he was younger, as well as setting him on the road to superstardom.

It is clear that his current relationship with the board of the club is fractured, that much is obvious, but that’s not a good enough reason to walk.

He stayed put in Spain during a trial for tax evasion and if anything, that would’ve been the time when Messi moving back home was more likely.

The current season has fallen well below the standards expected too, and that, as well as the fall-out from Ernesto Valverde’s sacking, will irk Leo and his team-mates.

Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi and Barcelona's Spanish defender Jordi Alba react during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF against FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on January 25, 2020. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP) (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

But on-pitch matters are really the only thing that should concern the players. Getting their own house in order. Let others worry about issues over which the players have no control.

Notwithstanding all of the above, and football being the unique business that it is, one can never say never of course.

Messi probably has 3-4 years at best left in his career, and he’ll want those to be as trophy-laden and successful as the rest of his time as a professional.

There are still records for him to break and they as much as anything will provide motivation.

If that motivation no longer exists with the Camp Nou outfit, however hard that is to envisage at this point, then it’s a very simple decision to bid goodbye.

Football is there to be enjoyed, not endured, and for the most part, Messi still looks like he’s having a ball out on the pitch. The day that stops will be the day we no longer see him wearing the Blaugrana.

Don’t expect Messi to leave Barca now… but you can never say never.

Lionel Messi to sign for before 3rd September 2020:

Manchester City


Bayern Munich

Any MLS Club

Any South American Club


Manchester United

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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