Manchester Metropolis have tied Pep Guardiola right down to a brand new two-year contract. Might Lionel Messi be subsequent?
Messi has lengthy been linked with a reunion with Guardiola, with whom he gained 14 of his 34 trophies at Barcelona throughout a four-year spell that noticed the Argentinian ascend to a degree that established him among the many biggest gamers of all time.
Stories of a possible transfer to Metropolis intensified in August after the six-time Ballon d’Or winner knowledgeable Barca of his need to go away the membership.
Messi had been banking on being allowed to depart on a free switch as beforehand promised by then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who subsequently knowledgeable him he wouldn’t be allowed out of the ultimate yr of his contract except a charge was negotiated.
Guardiola reportedly met with Messi in Barcelona and informed him Metropolis could be unable to enter such negotiations and suggested him to see out his deal at Camp Nou.
With the Catalan’s presence on the Etihad Stadium locked in till 2023, it could possibly be argued that the groundwork is in place to drag off one of many largest signings in historical past.
A wedding made in Barcelona
Below Guardiola, Messi performed extra video games (219), scored extra targets (211) and provided extra assists (79) in all competitions than he has for some other coach.
The Argentina star loved his most prolific marketing campaign in 2011-12 – Guardiola’s final earlier than leaving to take a sabbatical.
In simply 60 appearances in all competitions he amassed an unbelievable 73 targets and 29 assists, each of which stay private bests for a single season. He scored 50 instances in LaLiga, one of the best all-time mark and one that’s unlikely to be surpassed any time quickly.
Throughout the whole thing of 2012, he set a world report by scoring 91 targets – 79 for Barcelona and 12 for Argentina. His performances noticed him grow to be the primary participant to win the Ballon d’Or 4 instances, they usually got here in successive years.
A disappointing begin
Messi returned to Barca to work underneath Ronald Koeman after failing to engineer a transfer away, however 2020-21 has been removed from a classic season for him.
In his first 9 video games of the marketing campaign he scored 4 targets, though each one in every of them got here from the penalty spot.
He began on the bench for the go to of Actual Betis previous to the worldwide break resulting from issues over his “freshness”, however he got here on for the second half and registered a double – ending his watch for a objective from open play along with his second.
His minutes per-goal-rate of 195 is barely adequate for twenty eighth amongst gamers to have featured in at the least 5 LaLiga video games this season.
Might it truly occur?
Messi evidently stays unsettled at Camp Nou. Upon getting back from worldwide obligation on Wednesday, he was requested for his ideas on feedback made by Antoine Griezmann’s former consultant Eric Olhats.
Olhats accused the membership captain of overseeing a “reign of terror” at Barca and making Griezmann really feel unwelcome following his arrival from Atletico Madrid for a charge of €120million in July 2019.
Messi responded: “I am uninterested in being blamed for every thing that is mistaken on the membership.”
Guardiola has beforehand urged Messi to retire at Barca, however his change in circumstances at Metropolis could effectively alter his place on the difficulty.
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