Since the Champions League returned there have been plenty of surprises but none bigger than Barcelona losing to Bayern Munich 8-2. The Catalan giants were pummeled in a stunning display by the Bavarians, including 2 goals from Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho. It’s no shock that that Barça are in disarray and Setién is soon to be sacked by the board as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
However, the biggest loss may not be the lack of silverware at Barcelona but rather the loss of their talisman and captain, Lionel Messi. According to a new bombshell report by Marcelo Bechler, the Brazilian football journalist who first revealed that Neymar was headed towards PSG, Messi wants to leave Barça this summer! It’s hard to imagine Messi leaving as he has been a stalwart player for Barça since joining the first team in 2004, contributing to lots of success at the club, including 4 Champions Leagues and 10 La Ligas. However, the coveted UCL has escaped his grasp for the past 5 years now since winning the 14-15 UCL and it hasn’t seemed to come close to Barça ever since. Barça have exited the competition in the quarterfinals in 4 of those 5 years and have coughed up 2 3-goal leads against Roma in 2018 and Liverpool in 2019, not to mention their most recent embarrassment against Bayern this August.
If he’s set to leave and the rumor is true, where could he end up? Well, for starters, Messi is the world’s most expensive player in terms of salary, reportedly earning close to €40M a year. Combine that with his extraordinary achievements and stats, and arguably being the best player in the world, it’s going to take a lot for clubs to secure his signature.
PSG and Man City are the most likely contenders as they can best afford his high wages. PSG just cut their wage bill immensely, releasing/selling players like Cavani, Meunier, Thiago Silva, and Kurzawa. That, along with ownership by Qatar’s ruler Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, they have plenty of money at their disposal. Also, the attractiveness of playing with stars like his old friend/teammate, Neymar, along with others like Mbappé, & compatriots, Di María and Paredes, might grab Messi’s attention.