Leo Messi will remain at Barça, at least, until next June 30. A fact that has made a significant number of Barça fans breathe a sigh of relief, but which in turn opens up a new series of unknowns that can be summed up in a total of five points. Most of them will be resolved over the next few months, but everything suggests that the cyclone unleashed by the Argentine’s announcement of his intention to leave the club is still far from calm.
THE RELATIONSHIP WITH KOEMAN
The first of them is what relationship Messi will have with Ronald Koeman . The new Barça coach wants the Argentine to be the main figure in his first project at Barça. Thus, in fact, it would have been transferred in that same conversation in which the Argentine already dropped that he was seen more outside than inside the club. There was little, very little, for everything to explode through that burofax that he sent to the board on August 25. In January, he expressed his disappointment with a sports project that ended with a blank season. Will the Dutchman be able to excite him?
For the moment, the reinforcements that will be part of the first team in principle are Trincao , Pedri and a Pjanic who should be able to start working with his new teammates next Monday, after testing positive for COVID-19. Coutinho also returns from his loan to Bayern Munich. And it has also transpired that Koeman wants to reinforce the midfield. Although it has been indicated that Wijnaldum , from Liverpool, would be his preferred option, he has also begun to point out the possibility that Thiago , who has announced his intention to leave Bayern, can wear the Barça elastic again.
THE LOCKER ROOM FRIENDS
The second big question is what will happen to the friends that Messi has in the dressing room. Very especially, with Luis Suárez . Koeman seems to have given the go-ahead to the continuity of Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal is emerging as a new reinforcement for Inter, but the future of the Uruguayan is what can make a difference the most. Above all, because of the close relationship he has with the Argentine. Perhaps Messi’s turn in future could spark another in his good friend’s. The Uruguayan already indicated in the press that he would accept the role of substitute and, after all, it would not be the first time that a Barça coach changed his mind. Samuel Eto’o , who did not initially enter into Pep Guardiola’s plans For the 2008-09 campaign, it was the decisive end in his first season on the Camp Nou bench, that of the first Barcelona triplet, but he left the club the following summer to become a new ‘neroazzurro’ player.
FREE TO TRADE IN JANUARY
The third question focuses on what will happen in January of next year. From then on, Messi will be free, in principle, to negotiate with whoever wants his future, given that his contract, if there is no renewal involved, ends on June 31, 2021. How could all this affect the performance of the team Barça star is something that cannot be verified until then. Until now, his continuity in the ranks of Barça had always been sealed with more than enough margin so that this factor did not have any kind of weight. The candidates to sign him, if Messi can leave with the letter of freedom under his arm, surely, they will crowd at his doors.
The fourth question is what will finally happen when the public can return to the stands at the Camp Nou. After his intention to leave was made public, there was a tremendous division of opinions among Barça fans, very much based on the dichotomy between ‘cruyffismo’ and ‘nuñismo’. Some argued that the best thing was to take the money, even if it was not the 700 million of its clause, and let it go. Others, on the other hand, openly showed their fervor to retain him at all costs. To enjoy, at least, another year of the best player in the world. And perhaps hoping to change his mind over time. Also, on the other hand, it could be the unpleasant case that you hear the first whistles of your fans if things do not go as well as you would like. Barça’s memory has always been fragile.
ELECTIONS ON THE HORIZON
The fifth and final question is what effect the Barça presidential elections will have on Messi. The Argentine has already shown his disagreement with the extension of his contract for two seasons that Josep Maria Bartomeu has been offering him in recent days , but another president may be able to make him change his mind. At the moment, none of the promoters of the latest vote of no confidence against the leader have spoken openly about what they would do with Messi. Nor, either, any of the possible candidates. Perhaps, so that they are not accused of electoralism. The elections, in principle, are scheduled for April 4, 2021, but both the motion and the latest information from El Mundo about ‘Barçagate’, which indicate that the Mossos have detected signs of corruption, they will be able to advance them.