After refusing to show up to preseason, arguably the greatest athlete of this generation looks to find a new home, as former Olympic Gold Medalist and record six time Ballon d’Or award recipient Lionel Messi looks to wear a new uniform since he first appeared with La Liga’s Barcelona FC in 2004. It has been reported by BBC Sport that the 33 year old has agreed to a five year, £623M deal, which would make him the highest paid soccer player ever.
The other terms of this deal reported are that Leo would spend the first three years in Manchester, the following two as part of MLS’ New York City FC. He would get equity within the share group.
Of course, it’s worth noting that a transfer such as this one, which would be the biggest transfer ever, is far from official or complete. This is all speculation based, despite [unsubstantiated] reports from the Daily Record and BBC Sports. Barcelona is currently negotiating their €700 million price tag for Messi’s release. Leo’s father, Jorge Messi, did tell reporters that “it is almost unimaginable that Leo stays in Barcelona.”
Prior to this past season, Messi averaged fifty goals over the last decade. He is the highest scoring Argentinian in the history of the sport. Essentially, Messi had a June 10th opt out that he didn’t jump on, as the season was extended, his camp believes he should still have the freedom to exercise it. Barcelona disagrees, which would keep Leo in Barcelona for the next eleven months.
The Man City move does make sense, though, as Messi has worked with Pep Guardiola prior to this. Guardiola managed Barcelona from 2008-2012, for four of Lionel’s Ballon d’Or. Pep has been the manager of Manchester City since 2016. City Football Group can also afford it, and have had a number of players jump to NY FC in MLS after an extended stay in Manchester.
Lio’s father is in Barcelona as I type this.
PSE will keep you updated on the Messi situation as more information becomes available.
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