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Lionel Messi exit sealed, likely to Manchester City, claims Barcelona presidential candidate

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s decision to leave Barcelona is largely viewed as “irrevocable,” as frontrunner Manchester City looks to wait on the fallout of his exit to pounce on a deal. Barcelona presidential candidate Toni Freixa admitted as much after analyzing the situation at hand.

Speaking to Goal, Freixa explained how Messi’ decision derives from years of evidence that Barcelona is no longer a top club in Europe:

“As I have heard from several sides, the decision the player has come to is one that has matured over several years and is irrevocable,” said Freixa. “I don’t believe that there is any going back.

“Messi is a player who strives for maximum success. He alone cannot achieve maximum success, he needs a team for that. He does not have one. Since the treble in 2015, Champions League success is missing. That is what concerns him. His decision is due to the negative sporting development of the team in recent years.”

In the midst of a heated battle with Barcelona [and apparently LaLiga as well], Lionel Messi is poised to make his move, with frontrunner Man City boasting a good chance to land him for this 2020-21 season due to his connection to former manager Pep Guardiola.

“I think a move to Man City is likely,” said Freixa. “With Pep, Messi experienced his most brilliant years in Barcelona. It would only be logical if both of them worked together again. City, like almost all English clubs, also has the financial means to build a team that can win anything.

“In life everything comes to an end at some point, and even if there will no longer be a player like Messi, his departure would be a chance for Barca to develop into a team that is less dependent on a single player.

“Messi’s influence on Barca’s game has been immense in recent years. The style of play was designed to give him the ball and hope that he would do something magical with it. Without him, the collective would be more in demand again. That can also be liberating.”

Unlike current president Josep Maria Bartomeu and others in the Barcelona board, Freixa offers a distinct angle, one that offers some level of hope, already resigned to Lionel Messi departing the Camp Nou in the near future.

The club has been utterly hellbent in keeping Messi, despite commanding a baffling sum of €700 million — one they believe he should pay for his exit. Freixa has seen the writing in the wall, choosing to look forward instead of trying to mend mistakes that are well-past repair.