Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has kept his promise about delaying any decision on his future until the end of the season, and is so far believed to have not had any contact with potential suitors like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
Messi formally requested to leave Camp Nou last summer, attempting to trigger a clause allowing him to be released from his contract as a free agent a year early. But Barca contested it and the six-time Ballon d’Or winner backed down once it became clear that taking the club that he loves to court in an bad-tempered legal battle was his only option – something he wasn’t prepared to do.
Messi is on course to be out of contract at the end of the season. This time, Barca would be powerless to keep him if he wanted to go, although he could yet be persuaded to sign a new contract if there is enough evidence that a strong new project is being built at Camp Nou.
The arrival of a new president when the election is finally held could also help that, with Messi admitting that former chief Josep Maria Bartomeu left him feeling let down and betrayed.
Messi is already eligible to formally discuss his future with other clubs with a view to signing a pre-contract agreement ahead of the summer. But in December he explained during an in-depth interview with La Sexta that he will not engage in any talks until the season is over.
“I’m not thinking too far ahead in the short-term and just want to see how the season finishes. I will not negotiate with other clubs. I will wait for the season to end and in June I will decide,” he said.
Messi has been true to his word so far, with Goal reporting that he has not been in touch with PSG or Manchester City, despite regular speculation he could join either club. That includes any players or new PSG coach and fellow countryman Mauricio Pochettino.
Messi did admit in his La Sexta interview that he does talk with City boss Pep Guardiola, but the subject of his future and whether they could reunite in Manchester is not something they discuss.
“I don't know how long my last chat with Pep Guardiola was, but we do talk. We don't talk about whether we are going to meet again,” the 33-year-old explained.
Goal writes that Messi is ‘tired’ of the speculation surrounding his future and is adamant that he will be the only one confirming where he will be playing his football next season. But don’t expect that announcement to come before June when the 2020/21 campaign is wrapped up.