Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, might be tempted to leave Camp Nou on a free transfer next summer, according to respected football journalist Terry Gibson.
The Argentine is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal at Barcelona and with only a single year remaining in his current contract, many have speculated that the 30-year-old might be tempted to leave the Nou Camp in search for a new challenge.
Messi, who is regarded as the best player of the current generation – if not of all time, would surely be wanted by a number of clubs and if Barcelona fail to tie up the 30-year-old within six months’ time, he will be eligible to negotiate a contract with other teams – with a potential agreement to join them on a free transfer next summer.
Now to further give Barcelona fans a huge cause for concern, Spanish football expert, Terry Gibson, has gone on to admit that Messi leaving Barcelona is currently a realistic possibility.
Gibson added that should Messi indeed leave after winding up his contract, he might get an offer of around €100 million-a-year from some ambitious clubs such as Manchester City and PSG, which will be enormous in comparison to Barcelona’s current €24million-a-year offer.
Gibson told Sky Sports‘ La Liga Weekly podcast, “I always thought Lionel Messi, like Andres Iniesta and Xavi, would spend the bulk of the serious part of his career at Barcelona. For years I found it hard to envisage how anyone could afford to take Messi away from Barcelona, but now we’ve seen the emergence of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
“Now I’m looking at the fact he’s got only a year left on his contract. I think the new contract offer is worth €24m-a-year but if he was available on a free transfer Barca’s offer would get dwarfed. If a PSG or a Manchester City can get an out-of-contract Messi we’re talking, with the price of players now, €100m, €150m, €200m.
“I know he’s 30 now but in terms of prestige and what a signing like that can bring to the club would be a real coup. It’s not just the marketing, it is 50 games and 50 goals a season in whatever league he goes and plays in. I didn’t think it would happen, but I actually think it might now.”
The idea of a club offering hundreds of millions as wages for Messi is not entirely impossible as having the Argentine superstar for free might save interested parties in excess of €200 million in transfer fees.
It will certainly be a catastrophe from Barcelona’s point of view if Messi does indeed decide to run down his contract and leave the Camp Nou on a free transfer.
The Barcelona hierarchy has come under fire after failing to tie Messi up in time and allowing someone as valuable as the Argentine to get into the final year of his contract is certainly a huge gamble.