Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes that Barcelona forward Lionel Messi could be close to leaving the Nou Camp in the near future.
Messi has been at Barcelona for more than 14 years and it would be a huge shock if he did decide to move away from the club he grew up at. The Argentine is arguably one of the two best players in the world and any team would be more than happy to have him, meaning he won’t exactly have a lack of options.
Messi and his father have been under investigation from Spanish authorities for tax fraud, something that is reportedly angering the striker and could influence his decision to leave Barcelona.
If this is indeed the reason, it would have Premier League clubs on high alert.
Balague told Sky Sports: “It is the closest he’s ever been to leaving Barcelona. It doesn’t mean he will but it is the closest he has ever been to leaving the club.”
Sky Sports journalist Graham Hunter also feels that Messi’s troubles in Spain could contribute to his decision. He added: “The climate, not just at the Camp Nou but in Catalonia, is probably enough to make him and his family scratch their heads and wonder.
“I guess at his age… maybe you start to look at your next move and you think your next move at 28 is vitally important.
“Do I stay? Do I look at pastures new? I wouldn’t pretend to know what he’s going to do but at this stage of his life and with Barcelona run in the way that it is, I think it’s a story of merit. It’s something I guess you and I will be talking about for months to come.”
With Louis van Gaal once again saying that Manchester United are on the lookout for a player with ‘speed and creativity,’ there is no doubt Messi would be the best they could get in that category. It definitely would be a dream signing and fans should not be getting excited just yet but Balague’s comments could be a hint of a possibility.
If Messi does decide to leave, Man United will be expected to be in the running to sign the 28-year-old and who knows what can happen from there.