Messi continues to trend across the football world.
BARCELONA, Spain (29 August 2020) — Media outlet ESPN is reporting that Manchester City have made a blockbuster offer to entice Leo Messi to trade in blau-grana for azul celeste.
The blue side of Manchester have taken the lead in the race to sign the world’s greatest player and are reportedly planning to offer the six-time Ballon d’Or winner a long-term contract that would include a move to MLS’ New York City FC after playing three seasons for the Citizens in the Premier League.
The ESPN journalists, Rodrigo Faez and Moises Llorens, said the offer also includes an opportunity for Messi to become an Ambassador for the City Football Group, the holding company that owns Manchester City, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Mumbai City FC, among other clubs. City Football Group also owns a 44.3 percent share of LaLiga side Girona FC.
About that little issue
There is of course just one little detail: the €700 million release clause in Messi’s contract with FC Barcelona. Messi’s position is that he has timely exercised his option to leave the club, a position in direct contrast to Barcelona’s stance, and one which could potentially land in the hands of a Spanish court should Messi sign with another club. Messi’s contract runs until June 30, 2021.
Could the parties negotiate an agreed exit for the superstar? It is certainly a possiblity and would make more sense for both parties. Barcelona is in need of cash and could use the amount it would likely acquire in a transfer of Messi.
Lionel Messi and a move to the MLS
The City Football Group would like Messi to join New York City FC after playing three years with Manchester City. At 33, Messi is still one of the very best players on earth under the right circumstances, and the eventual move to Bew York would assist City Football Group’s need to make New York City more relevant in its own market as well as in North America. The New York club has arguably the worst home stadium in MLS, as Yankee Stadium is ill-suited for football.
The only other North American club that has ever been linked with Leo Messi is Inter Miami, where David Beckham is a ten percent owner/investor. If the deal in Manchester pans out, it remains to be seen whether the Fort Lauderdale-based team would look to make a deal with City Football Group. Messi did say in 2018 that he might consider joining the team if Beckham called him in the future.
Messi, who has spent his entire senior career with Barça, signaled a desire for change in his first conversation with new Barça manager. The meeting came after Koeman said Luis Suárez did not figure in Koeman’s rebuilding efforts. Suárez happens to be Messi’s best friend on the team, and his neighbour in the Barcelona suburb of Castelldefels. But Messi’s dissatisfaction with Barcelona extends beyond that. The club’s management, headed up by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, has allowed good talent to get away, oversaw the loss of Neymar, Jr. to Paris and spent large sums of money on players without seemingly any strategic plan.