With the Argentine's contract extension at Camp Nou up in the air, Pep Guardiola and City are alert to the possibility of tabling an offer.
On July 5, Barcelona officially announced the extension of Lionel Messi’s contract until 2021. All appeared to be well at the time, but in the intervening weeks, it has become clear that there were a great deal of loose ends to tie up, and a lot remains to be explained.
Barcelona continue to exude an air of calm. “Everything is signed, there’s no need to worry,” they repeat. Within the club, they are aware that Messi still needs to have his photograph taken with the president, Josep María Bartomeu. Iniesta has done so this week.
Things have changed. If a few weeks ago the impression was that the i’s needed dotting and the t’s needed crossing, more doubts have now emerged. The possibility of Messi not signing a new contract should not be ruled out. His current deal expires in 86 days, on June 30 2018.
Amid this uncertainty, Manchester City remain open to anything. If the player so desires, the club will prepare a January offer of €400m that would shatter the price PSG paid to poach Neymar from Barcelona.
Sources close to the Premier League club reveal that “serious conversations have been held with the footballer’s inner circle,” although that has not been confirmed.
That said, Messi is happy with his life in Barcelona. He knows that his wife, Antonella, is not in favour of moving the family, and Messi himself feels wanted. He would like to see improvement in some aspects of his relationship with the club, but there are things that no longer depend solely on him.