As all good things come to an end, Lionel Messi on Tuesday told Barcelona that he wants to leave after nearly two decades at the club, having grown unhappy with a trophyless season which also ended with a humiliating loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
So, what's next for the Argentine wizard?
Reportedly, the 33-year-old has spoken to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola over a potential move to the Premier League side this summer. Also, there are reports of ongoing negotiations between Manchester United and Messi's agent.
Messi's move to Manchester City sounds extremely fair, given the relationship between Guardiola and the Argentine during their successful days at Barcelona nearly a decade ago.
The pair has won two Champions League trophies and three La Liga titles between 2008-2012 at Barcelona where Messi earned his G.O.A.T status.
However, another report by a Spanish website SPORT, claims that Manchester United and PSG have begun negotiations to sign the Argentine.
That could also be true for a fair number of reasons.
Manchester United have made zero signings since in the current transfer window. The failed Jordan Sancho signing could only mean the club has enough to sign the 33-year-old.
PSG, meanwhile, are also favourites given their financial capability. At the French side, Messi will be reunited with Neymar, who has repeatedly been asked to come back to Barcelona by the Argentine himself.
Additionally, Serie A side Inter Milan have also contacted Messi's representatives including his father and agent Jorge.
Keeping the rumours aside, Messi's potential move to these clubs depends on whether the Barcelona skipper is allowed to leave on a free transfer or not.
Barcelona hinted that a legal battle could be coming and said it won’t automatically grant the Argentina great his wishes. Barcelona said it told Messi in response that it wants him to stay and finish his career at the club.
The dispute centers around a clause in Messi’s contract.
Barcelona said the document sent by Messi referenced a clause allowing him to leave for free at the end of the season. However, the club said the deadline for triggering that clause expired in June and that it would seek legal advice. Messi’s contract also includes a 700 million euro ($826 million) buyout clause.
The Spanish season would normally have ended in May but was pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Spanish media said an emergency board meeting was expected to take place on Wednesday, when the club had already scheduled the official presentation of forward Francisco Trincão.