Live

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

LIVE: The Football Show
'He's looking around, why woul...
Soccer

'He's looking around, why wouldn't he?' | Messi's next move

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

13:49 8 Jul 2020

Graham Hunter feels rumours over Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona are rife because the Argentine is taking time to strongly consider the next step in his stellar career.

Reports have emerged of late linking the Ballon d'Or holder with a move away from the Catalan giants.

However, Spanish football writer Hunter told OTB AM he thinks Messi is merely biding his time so as not to jump into any rash decision.

"He was 33 the other week. His contract allowed him to walk away for free at the end of this season, even though he's got one more year left. It was written in, this get-out clause, as long as he notified them by the end of May. He didn't do that.

"As poor a President as Bartomeu has been, he doesn't want to leave in one years' time... he is mandated that he must resign in a year, there must be an election, that's obligatory.

"He doesn't want to be the President who is branded as the one that let Messi go. If Messi doesn't renew then, by next summer, not only will there will be a free-for-all, it'll be a blemish on Bartomeu's record for all-time.

"They started to talk to [Messi] about a new contract, and Messi's people said 'No, we're not interested. Stop, go away, forget it.' They didn't say 'We're leaving', they said 'we're not interested in talking right now.'

"Immediately that leaked out... it was reported as 'At the moment, Messi doesn't want to think about staying', and the clarity that needs to be brought to that is he should be looking around at [age] 33 at his options.

"At 33, he can still look utterly brilliant. At the end of this campaign he'll be Barcelona's most important player, he'll probably be La Liga's best player.

"He's in a declining team, and he's deeply dissatisfied with what he sees around him. That's the situation, there's no need for speculation. He's looking [around] and why wouldn't he?"

If Messi were to depart Camp Nou, and the club he joined as a youngster in 2001, there are only certain clubs with the financial clout to afford his wages.

(200226) -- NAPLES, Feb. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi (R) vies with Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Napoli and Barcelona in Naples, Italy, Feb. 25, 2020. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/Xinhua)

Hunter addressed rumours in Argentine media lately that linked Messi to Manchester United in a cash-plus-players deal.

"It sounds utter tosh to me. If you put the magnifying glass on it... £120 million plus two players for a guy that's 33 and out of contract at the end of the season? Why wouldn't you wait a season and take him for free?

"Why wouldn't you start the contacts now? Why would you pay all that money? I don't understand it... it doesn't make sense to me at all.

"Manchester United as a venue for him? Maybe. The club that has tried hardest to get him over his entire career is Manchester City. Inter [Milan] tried really, really hard... Real Madrid tried when he was a youngster.

"Manchester City's owners, long before Pep [Guardiola] was in charge, were desperate to get Messi, put unbelievable financial incentives... and still covet him.

"I understand why owners would covet him. The ruling about Manchester City's participation in the Champions League patently is very important.

"I'm not entirely sure what Pep Guardiola's view would be if the [City] owners said 'Pep, we're going to give you Messi.' Outright rejection of it? No. But his plan of football is much more dynamic.

"Messi's a different kind of footballer, genius though he is, that Pep inherited in 2008/09. It would mean a re-orientation of how Manchester City play.

"My opinion is Messi will want to wait and see what, if anything, Barcelona do in coaching terms this year. Does [Quique] Setién stay or not? And Messi has got a bigger word now in how the team shape is.

"Messi is surveying what he's got, surveying what else there is, and taking time to make a decision. I think that's wise."

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Barca Barcelona Graham Hunter La Liga Leo Messi Lionel Messi Manchester City Manchester United Messi Pep Guardiola

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Up next

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Golf Weekly

LIVE: Golf Weekly

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: John Giles

LIVE: John Giles

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE Commentary: Liverpool v Chelsea

LIVE Commentary: Liverpool v Chelsea

08:00 PM-11:30 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on