Tuesday 23 February 2021
With six months left on Lionel Messi’s contract, does a move to Man City make financial and footballing sense? The Pitch to Post Review show panel discuss whether the money could be better spent elsewhere
Talk of Lionel Messi’s future will ramp up in the coming months as he approaches the end of his Barcelona contract, but does a move to Man City make sense? The Pitch to Post Review show panel discuss.
Sky Soorts reoorts that the Spokespeople for both Man City and Messi have confirmed to Sky Sports News no offers have been made by City to the player, neither last summer nor since, contrary to reports in a British newspaper on Friday a £430m contract offer was to be made.
Messi’s spokesperson has also reiterated the Argentina forward will choose whether to leave or stay at the end of the season, having announced his intention to do so in an interview in December.
Messi has resettled at the Nou Camp this season since demanding to be released from his contract last summer, when Pep Guardiola and City were considered the frontrunners to sign him.
“But there are two other key players out there I think 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 keen to see whether it disrupts him or improves him. If he did come in, I would be intrigued to see where he fits in. Does he play down the middle as a replacement for Sergio Aguero? What impact will that have on Gabriel Jesus?
“You do also wonder whether the intensity levels, the energy we see in the Premier League, will have an impact. That’s what all players say when they move from Spain to England – that the physicality and intensity is higher.”
Where could Messi fit in? Everywhere!
Image:Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi enjoyed huge success together at Barcelona
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright on the Pitch to Post Review:
“It would be dangerous to second-guess Pep Guardiola’s thinking, anyone with a Fantasy Football team can testify. Against Arsenal they were so fluid in the final third, with two or three players popping up in different positions, particularly in that false nine position at different times.
“I think Guardiola would see Messi as someone who gives him options; he used him famously as a false nine at Barcelona, he could use him from the flanks, he could play as a No 10, and could even play even deeper than that. He is still scoring at an extraordinary rate, but he has got more and more creative in recent years, with 21 assists in La Liga last season. Messi has had to drop further back as Barcelona’s midfield becomes less influential.
“Pep could basically do what he likes with him – there are so many areas he could play and fit in. It’s just a thrilling prospect.
“There is a question mark as to whether Messi would contribute defensively, if he is walking around the pitch, but he tends to be conserving energy and walking around when his team are in possession rather than out of it. I think he is more than capable of getting involved in the defensive side of the game.
“I think there are a lot of reasons this makes sense to City and Guardiola in a playing sense.”