…After Rejecting New Deal
Lionel Messi is reportedly planning to leave Barcelona at the end of the 2020/21 season.
Fans of the Blaugrana have been keeping their fingers tightly crossed as the player and club try to thrash out a contract extension, but it seems as though the negotiations have reached an impasse.
That’s because Cadena SER, one of the most reputable sources in Spain, have claimed that Messi will see out the rest of his contract at Camp Nou and wave goodbye to the club next year.
Journalist Jonas Giæver explains in his translation of the report that Messi is running out of patience with the club and feels hurt by the way affairs have been handled in recent months.
It’s believed that the Argentine has become fed up with all the ‘chitter chatter’ stoked by members of the club as well as claims in the Spanish media that he calls the shots in the dressing room.
Messi unhappy at Camp NouIt perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Messi was legitimately linked with a Barcelona exit in February after a public spat with sporting director and former teammate Eric Abidal.
As a result, it can only be assumed that Messi sees one more full season in Catalonia as the perfect timeframe in which to end the most lucrative player-club collaboration in football history.
If Messi really does follow through with rejecting an extension of his deal, it remains to be seen whether that would spell retirement or the unprecedented step of moving elsewhere.
A final Barcelona season?It’s hard to imagine a world in which Messi would move to another European club, despite the constant Manchester City and Inter Milan rumours, but a return to Argentina is certainly possible.
Messi has previously expressed a desire to return to Newell’s Old Boys, the club for whom he spent six years in the youth set-up but never made a professional appearance for.
As much of a fairytale as that would be, however, it would cast serious doubts about Messi appearing at the 2022 World Cup and just how many seasons we’ll have left to enjoy of him.
But regardless of whether he stays at Barcelona or leaves as the report would suggest, let it serve as a reminder that the majestic Messi won’t be playing football every week forever.
There will eventually come a time where he decides to hang up his boots and that time, at Barcelona at least, could be arriving very soon.