The Argentine stayed put in the end but his decision has done nothing to abate rampant speculation.
The 33 year-old’s contract with Barcelona is due to run out this summer and Messi has shown no sign that he’s willing to negotiate a new deal.
Manchester City were the most likely destination then and according to reports continue to look the most likely now, with outside bets given to Paris Saint-Germain.
One player who believes City could be a good destination for Messi is a fellow Argentine, Pablo Zabaleta.
Zabaleta played with Messi for Argentina as well as representing City, and speaking with Stadium Astro in comments carried by Diario Sport revealed that should Messi leave Catalonia he sees Pep Guardiola‘s outfit in the English north-west to be ideal.
“It’s sad to see Messi in this situation,” Zabaleta said.
“I never thought that he would be in the last year of his contract with Barcelona. The team is not playing well and it seems that they are not enjoying their football. We’ll see what happens with Messi at the end of the season.
“He has a good friend, Sergio [Aguero] at City and he’s worked with Pep at Barcelona, so they know him. Some of the people on the board also know Messi.
“If Messi decides that he wants to leave Barcelona and go play in a different league and a different country, of course City would be one of the options.
“Every player would like to have an experience in the Premier League. It’s the best leagues in the world and maybe he wants to go and enjoy a few years there. I would like to see Messi, should he decide to leave, in England. It’s a lovely place to play football.”
Featured image courtesy of Goal.