Barcelona Resigned to Losing Lionel Messi for Free as Striker Expected to Join Manchester City Next Summer

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is expected to leave Barcelona for Manchester City next summer | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona are resigned to losing club talisman, Lionel Messi in the summer with the management expecting the striker to leave them for Manchester City at the end of the season.

Messi shocked the footballing world when he handed in a transfer request to leave Barcelona in the summer only for him to reverse his decision after both LaLiga authorities and the Catalan management reiterated that he would be only able to leave if a club met his €700million release clause.

As per the Mirror, the club are finally braced to let their greatest ever player leave at the end of the season, with Messi reportedly informing the board that he is keen to reunite with former Barcelona boss, Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.

City for their part are in pole position to land Messi if the player does decide to leave Spain, with their chief operating officer, Omar Berrarda, recently admitted that the Etihad giants will once again be ready to move in next summer. 

"He's the best player in the world, he's the best player of his generation. I think any club in the world would like to explore the possibility of him joining their team. He's probably an exception to potential investments that we'd do... but our planning has been done with this current squad and it is being considered with the current opportunities that we have," he said to Manchester Evening News.

"For every single position we have to be prepared because there can be so many things that can happen but, at the same time, I think we have the financial strength and system ability to make that investment when required."

Messi is currently in the final year of his contract at the club which means that he could start talking to clubs over a potential move next January, that is if he decides to not sign a new deal with the Catalan giants.