The impossible is slowly but surely turning into likely or even expected – Lionel Messi is set to leave Barcelona after almost 20 years of service and playing under the same banner his whole career. And Manchester City are waiting to take him to the Premier League.
The Argentine has now missed the initial pre-training tests at the camp and is likely to also miss Ronald Koeman’s first training session today as well. All of this certainly points towards an almost definite separation.
But Man City should also be really optimistic because according to Terry Gibson, Barcelona themselves would love nothing more than to actually sell the Argentine in the ongoing summer transfer window.
Here’s what he said for Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast: “It’s a sign now that there is going to be a war between Barcelona and Messi. If you’re asking me what is going to happen eventually, I think Manchester City are the favourites now. But part of me thinks (Josep) Bartomeu and Ronald Koeman want to see Messi out of the door now.
“They want to eradicate his wage bill, Luis Suarez’s wage bill, the team needs rebuilding. If Barcelona can get the transfer fee from Manchester City, get Messi off the wage bill and try to pin the blame on Messi, that’s the outcome which suits Bartomeu, Ronald Koeman, and the outcome that will suit Manchester City.”
The Catalans have been struggling with their wage bill and do have enormous financial issues. Selling Messi, however weird that may sound, could potentially throw them a lifeline.
Of course, Pep Guardiola is just waiting for that to happen and then he’ll pull the trigger.
There have been various different discussions of whether Messi would fit in at Man City. He’s 33 now and doesn’t exactly run too much and the Citizens are all about intensity, speed and aggression.
But are we really discussing whether adding the world’s best player to a team would indeed make that team better? It does seem like a no-brainer.