Messi: Possible destinations if he leaves Barcelona
Messi has reportedly told Barcelona he wants out. And provided they waive his €700 million clause and allow him to move on, Europe’s biggest clubs will be fighting for his signature.
If Lionel Messi leaves Barça, the door of every club in the world will be open to him. At 33, he remains a fierce Ballon d’Or contender and is still considered by many as the best player in the world. And there is no doubt that he will remain a voracious competitor who wants to continue winning.
Messi has reportedly told Barcelona he wants out. And provided they waive his €700 million clause that is in place until June, 2021 and allow him to move on, Europe’s biggest clubs will be set for a major battle for his signature.
Italy's favourable tax conditions will make Inter Milan one of the main candidates. For months, former Inter president, Massimo Moratti, had spoken of the possibility of signing the Barcelona star – something that was deemed implausible before now.
Inter’s owners, led by Chinese businessman Steven Zhang, have dreamed of singing Messi since the Chinese group bought a 70-percent share of the club for 270 million euros in 2019, with the intentions of returning the Nerazzurri to its former glory. Many at this time will recall how Ronaldo left Barcelona for Inter back in 1996.
Messi: PSG, Man Utd and Man City other possible destinations
But Serie A is not Messi's only possible destination. PSG will no doubt be fantasising about setting up a reunion between the Argentine superstar and Neymar, who, along with Kylian Mbappé, would form a tantalizing attacking trident that could finally lead the Parisian outfit to its first Champions League title.
But the big question there is whether even the petro-state-funded club could bear the financial burden of the three player’s monumental salaries.
Deportes Cuatro reported this Tuesday of the interest of Manchester United, one of the most financially powerful clubs in the world, whose neighbours, of course, are Manchester City, led by Messi’s former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain and Soriano.
Fate could have it that Guardiola and Messi cross paths again. Messi still holds tremendous admiration for Guardiola and considers him the best coach he has ever had.
The doors of the MLS, and particularly David Beckham’s Inter Miami, would also be open to Messi, but with the World Cup at stake in 2022, it is likely that he will want to play in a more competitive league in Europe rather than the United States, often viewed as a pre-retirement destination for some of European club football's biggest stars.
While his future is up in the air, one thing remains certain: Lionel Messi still has plenty of football in his boots and several years left before he hangs them up.