Here is Lionel Messi free to engage where he wants. Six months before the end of his contract at Barcelona, the six-fold Golden Ball can negotiate with other clubs from Friday 1er January for a departure next summer.
While the winter transfer window opens this weekend in Europe and Monday in Spain, the next few weeks promise to be decisive for Barça and for the future of the Argentinian superstar (33), who already wanted to s’ to leave last summer and that FIFA regulations now authorize discussions with another club with a view to starting at 1er July.
The Catalan club will elect their new president on January 24, and the line of conduct of the new management will be crucial in convincing Messi to stay at Barcelona.
Tired of unstable management, a club in perpetual crisis for more than a year, a succession of coaches (three in the space of a year) and disappointing results, such as the historic humiliation suffered last August against the Bayern Munich in the Champions League (8-2), Messi wanted to leave the club at the end of August. But he ultimately stayed, constrained by his contract and by President Josep Maria Bartomeu, who has since resigned.
“How do you expect Messi not to want to leave?” “
“Leo” has not yet “Nothing decided”. But the one who had left his city of Rosario (Argentina) at the age of 13, in 2000, to join the Masia, the Barcelona training center, confided last Sunday on the Sexta television channel than “The club is doing very badly and it will be difficult to bring it back to the level it was at”.
Nothing reassuring. “How do you expect Messi not to want to leave with a team like that?” “, wondered Marca, the best-selling newspaper in Spain, on its website on December 19, after the Catalans’ dismal performance against Valencia (2-2) in La Liga.
Present in the stands on Tuesday, Messi lowered his head again in a sign of desperation, after Barça’s draw against Eibar at Camp Nou (1-1).
There remains the question of several tens of millions of euros, or the amount of his salary: where could the Argentine land, even if no transfer fee will be payable? Barça, PSG (which he will find in the Champions League in a few weeks), Manchester City, United States ? Another unexpected destination? One thing is certain: the soap opera of the possible transfer of one of the best players of all time will punctuate the coming weeks because, from now on, Lionel Messi has the choice.