Lionel Messi is perhaps one of the greatest players in the history of the game, and someone who Barcelona have relied upon to win numerous trophies in the last decade. Messi and Barcelona have often been considered two inseparable components, but a recent report in El Pais has revealed that the Argentine superstar has the provision to leave the club if he desires at the end of each season having turned 32.
A clause in his contract gives him the option to leave Barcelona, despite an astronomical €700m release clause. The source states that the relationship between the two parties is that of trust and there is little fear that he will leave the club anytime soon. But given the shocking revelations, let us ponder over the possibilities.
If Messi does leave the club, which clubs could he join?
Let’s take a look at 3 potential destinations for Lionel Messi
The obvious choice is Manchester City as the current manager of the club, Pep Guardiola, had a huge influence on the development of Messi as a player during his spell as Barcelona coach. Another Barcelona link is the presence of Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, two former Barcelona management personnel, who could also convince the Argentinian to join them.
City also play exciting football and are one of the most enjoyable sides to watch in Europe, which could also tempt Messi to join them and help in City’s ultimate quest of European domination.
Paris Saint-Germain are perhaps one of the few clubs in Europe who could sign megastars like Lionel Messi as they have the financial clout to pay huge transfer fees.
Messi could perhaps move to the French club in search of a new challenge as he has achieved everything there is to achieve in Spain, while PSG still have one big challenge to overcome – establish themselves as a major force in the Champions League.
The French club haven’t been able to win the prestigious competition or indeed make any positive impact, even after signing Messi’s former teammate Neymar, and they have been desperate in wanting to win the title after infusing monstrous amount of cash into the club.
Before the Chinese league, the MLS was the league for experienced players to earn the big bucks and increase their commercial reach, and Messi could follow the likes of David Beckham, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in moving to the US.
While the challenge that the top European leagues possess may not be there in MLS, it is certainly a better option than the Chinese league and the league has been improving over the last decade or so.
While the USA is certainly an option, it is unlikely to be a choice Messi will make in the next 3-4 years if at all he makes it.