Manchester City’s hopes of signing Lionel Messi this summer appear to have been dashed as the legendary Argentinian is seemingly on the brink of signing a new contract with Barcelona.
The Citizens have been regularly linked with a move for the 33-year-old, whose current contract at Barcelona is set to expire at the end of the season, which would have allowed the Premier League leaders to bring him to the Etihad Stadium on a free transfer.
Messi was hugely frustrated with former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu last summer when he wasn’t allowed to depart Camp Nou, even though he felt that a clause in his contract meant he could leave for nothing.
However, he was convinced to stay with the Catalan club and clearly hasn’t allowed his frustrations to show in his performances, as he has delivered yet another superb campaign for Barcelona.
In 29 league appearances, the Argentina international has contributed a remarkable 25 goals and nine assists, averaging an incredible 8.57/10 WhoScored rating for his performances, with 19 man of the match awards to his name.
Unsurprisingly, this comfortably ranks him as the best performer in La Liga so far this season, so it seems clear that he would have been an incredible addition to Pep Guardiola’s side had he made the move to Manchester.
However, the return of former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has seemingly boosted Messi’s mood and recent reports have suggested that he is edging closer to a new two-year deal at the club.
He also seems to have been convinced by the promise of Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero joining him at Barcelona this summer, with the Etihad legend set to depart on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The late, great Diego Maradona is just one of several footballing legends to have sung Messi’s praises during his illustrious career, saying: “I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius.”
Therefore, it is a huge blow for Guardiola that he and Messi seemingly won’t be reunited at Manchester City next season, as the new contract will surely see him finish his career with the La Liga giants.