His patience has been admirable, but it would appear that even he has had enough of the circus.
According to a stunning report, Lionel Messi is set for a swift exit from FC Barcelona when his contract officially expires in 2021.
As is well known, the Argentine could of course walk as early as this summer. However if claims made by journalist Manu Carreño on Cadena SER’s El Larguero program are true, Messi will give it just one more season before turning his back on the outfit that has reared him since the cusp of adolescence.
Carreño further alleged that Messi is “fed up” with “permanent leaks” made in self-interest from the higher-ups in the club, as well as being held responsible for decisions “which he has nothing do with it”.
“The negotiations had started very well, in tune with both parties [and their wishes],” it was explained of recent contract talks, “but the latest events have made Messi reconsider everything and for the moment [he] has decided to stop them.”
Thus far, the year 2020 has been one to forget for Messi and his club. Beginning with the firing of Ernesto Valverde, the skipper then became embroiled in a public spat with Eric Abidal after the director of football claimed that the players had demanded the dismissal and weren’t training “hard enough” on his watch.
Josep Bartomeu stepping in to defuse the row, he was then forced to clean up his own mess when a separate investigation accused Barça of contracting the services of I3 Ventures to smear the names of Messi, his wife, and presidential hopefuls on social media.
Since the return of soccer, following the three-month hiatus imposed on it by the coronavirus pandemic, further disappointments have emerged in the way midfielder Arthur has been sold to Juventus, while Messi’s relationship with Valverde replacement Quique Setien and his number two Eder Sarabia has broken down.
Bartomeu previously insisting that Messi would be offered an “indefinite” contract for life, it appears that at this point the 33-year-old may never sign on the dotted line at the Camp Nou ever again, and therefore usher in a transition crisis deeper than that which Manchester United experienced when Sir Alex Ferguson retired.