Discussions about Lionel Messi’s future will intensify in the coming months as his contract at Barcelona nears end, but does a move to Man City make sense? The Pitch to Post Review panel discusses.
Man City and Messi spokesmen confirmed Sky Sports News No offer has been made by City to the player, neither last summer nor since, contrary to information published on Friday by a British newspaper, a contract offer of £ 430million was due to be made.
Messi’s spokesperson also reiterated that the Argentina striker would choose to leave or stay at the end of the season, after announcing his intention to do so in an interview in December.
Messi has relocated to Camp Nou this season since asking to be released from his contract last summer, when Pep Guardiola and City were considered favorites to sign him.
Having concluded the last six months of his current contract, Messi is keen to know the outcome of next month’s presidential election and what the winner will offer him both in terms of financial and sporting incentives, before making an appeal to the next step in his career.
Jasper Taylor was joined by skysports.com Ben Grounds and Nick wright to discuss whether the move makes sense or if the money could be better spent elsewhere …
Messi can extend his career like the best
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright in the field to post a review:
“There are a lot of things to consider and I think the first one is that Lionel Messi remains the best player in the world at 33, there is little to no evidence that he is in decline. Elite players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are extending theirs right now, and Messi has everything around him to continue, he has everything in his power to keep his production going for a long time.
“Another thing to remember is that the owners of Manchester City have almost unlimited wealth so they are able to make this deal. Is that a good deal? I would hate to be the guy arguing over the signing of Lionel Messi because that he would make them better, of course he would.
“There’s also the status factor, which the owners would like. They already have the best manager in the world, so having the best player in the world I’m sure is something they would like.
“Messi has played some of his best Barcelona football games under Guardiola, they have a pre-existing relationship and understanding, and I’m sure he will have a good idea of how he plans to use it.
“I think all the ingredients are in place to make this make sense: Obviously the finances are mind blowing. It’s a huge sum. But this is Messi we’re talking about. I hope it happens, because it would be just amazing to see him in the Premier League.
“The owners want to make City the biggest club in the world, win Champions Leagues and make them the most marketable club in the world. Signing the best player in the world and having Guardiola as manager is exactly the kind of thing they’re aiming for. If they can find a way to fund the deal, let’s do it, let’s go. I hope that happens. “
Haaland or Mbappe a better use of money?
Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds in the field to post a review:
“You have this Manchester City juggernaut that got back on track since the end of November. We even discussed last season if that was all for Pep – could he rebuild City again?
“We saw how Phil Foden got started, and they signed Ferran Torres – and their signings point more to long-term thinking. This deal with Messi would be a little different, but it’s an opportunity. It’s coming to an end. of his Barcelona contract, has this relationship with Pep Guardiola.
“Even if he will be 34 in June, it’s Lionel Messi. He’s different. He will be at the top of his game for at least two years.
“Yes, it’s a bit of a vanity project, but the owners have always wanted the signing of this marquee to strengthen their credibility. This is what it would be.
“But there are two other key players there, I think that would be a better use of their money – Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe. I would rather see City go for them.
“Would Messi help Foden? I would be eager to see if that upsets him or improves him. If he comes, I would be intrigued to see where he stands. Is he playing in the middle as a replacement for Sergio?” What impact will this have on Gabriel Jesus?
“You also wonder if the intensity levels, the energy that we see in the Premier League, will have an impact. That’s what all the players say when they leave Spain for England – that the physicality and intensity are higher. “
Where could Messi fit in? All over!
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright in the field to post a review:
“It would be dangerous to question the thinking of Pep Guardiola, anyone with a Fantasy Football team can testify. Against Arsenal they were so fluid in the final third, with two or three players appearing in different positions , especially in this false nine position at different times.
“I think Guardiola would see Messi as someone who gives him options; he used him as a false nine at Barcelona, he could use him on the flanks, he could play as a No 10 and might even play even further than that. He still scores at an extraordinary pace, but has become increasingly creative in recent years, with 21 La Liga assists last season. Messi had to fall further as the Barcelona midfielder becomes less influential.
“Pep could basically do what he loves with him – there are so many areas he could play and fit in. It’s just an exciting prospect.
“There is a question mark as to whether Messi would contribute defensively, if he walks around the pitch, but he tends to conserve his energy and move when his team is in possession rather than out. I think he’s more than capable of getting involved in the defensive side of the game.
“I think there are a lot of reasons why this makes sense for City and Guardiola in the sense of the game.”