After Andres Iniesta’s agreement to a ‘lifetime’ contract with Barcelona, the club’s next big concern will be Lionel Messi’s new deal. The Barcelona legend is still yet to sign an extension. Despite club officials announcing that he has agreed to renew already. There has been no official announcement as of yet, which puts Messi’s extension into major doubt.
Messi is currently away on international duty with Argentina. The country’s qualification for the World Cup hangs in the balance after mixed results throughout the qualification phase. Barcelona tweeted in early July that they had agreed to an extension with their superstar.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 5, 2017
Messi’s contract situation is unclear
Messi’s current situation remains unclear after Moises Llorens from AS reported the latest on the matter. Llorens suggests that the possibility of Messi not signing a new contract shouldn’t be “ruled out“.
Despite Barcelona’s reassuring statements, there still hasn’t been any significant steps taken. There has been no official announcement, however, club officials have said that “We’re relaxed as everything is ready and the contract will be valid from June 30 this year – everything is in place.”
Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu attempted to clear the clouds on Messi’s situation. Speaking to Diario Sport earlier in September, he said,”Messi’s renewal? It has all been agreed and signed.”
He further said, “All that is missing is Leo’s signature for protocol and an official photograph, but his father has signed the image rights contract while the Messi Foundation contract is also finalized.”
Bartomeu said that the club’s schedule has been far too busy lately. He says that “nobody should be worried” about Messi’s predicament. However, he also acknowledged that Barcelona cannot give an exact time as to when the deal will be official.
Manchester City ready to take advantage
Messi’s current deal expires in the summer of 2018. Which means that any interested parties stand a very real chance of prizing away the Barcelona No.10 away from Camp Nou.
Among those interested parties is Manchester City, who have been in touch with Messi’s representatives for a while about a record transfer to the Premier League. However, this hasn’t been confirmed as of yet.
Manchester City have had "serious conversations" about signing Barcelona's Lionel Messi for 400m euros (£358m) in January. (Source: MARCA) pic.twitter.com/quvcUbDaph
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) October 9, 2017
The rumors to City are all the more interesting because of the presence of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad. The duo enjoyed a great relationship together at Barcelona and guided the club to unprecedented success. Additionally, the City board also contains Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano who were both important figures in the Barcelona board.
Begiristain has dismissed any possibility of Messi moving to City in August, however, he will certainly relish the prospect of bringing the Argentine to England.
All this speculation surrounding Messi’s future seems silly at first. However, his future has been thrown into doubt on more than one occasion in the past. Under Luis Enrique, he was close to leaving after a fallout. Nonetheless, he stayed and experienced great success with the Blaugrana once again. A world-record transfer doesn’t seem entirely impossible, we’ve seen it happen very recently with multiple players, Messi is no different.
If the announcement of his contract isn’t official, that means there is something ongoing behind the scenes that we’re unaware of. It remains to be seen if Guardiola can lure Messi to English football to join his team of superstars at City.