Although it seems a much more distant possibility, Manchester City will do their diligence on Lionel Messi this January.
Manchester City CFO Omar Berrada gave a very telling interview about the state of the club on many different subjects, but when the topic of the summer’s failed Lionel Messi-Manchester City deal came up, he was very candid.
He has not given up on signing the greatest player of all time just yet, and Messi will be free to negotiate with other clubs on Jan. 1, 2021. After being held prisoner at Barcelona for the year, the Argentine’s relationship with the club has yet to improve, as he was furious with the manner in which best friend Luis Suárez was thrown out of the door to La Liga rivals Atlético Madrid.
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While a new club president and manager could easily change his mind and lead to a new contract extension (I believe this is the most likely outcome), the fact that City have officially retained their interest is exciting. Even at 34, I believe Messi will still have what it takes to excel in Pep Guardiola’s system and bring a pedigree that takes the club to a new level both on and off the pitch.
“We’ll see if it becomes a possibility,” Berrada said. “If he leaves Barca and should Messi become something that can be discussed, then we could potentially explore that.”
City have proceeded with caution at every turn of this saga so far, which I believe is wise. However, this open-minded approach is perhaps the clearest signal yet that this deal is not over. Speculation will run rampant in the coming months if Messi has not signed a new contract, and the groundwork is now laid for City to once again be at the heart of the action.