September 25, 2021

‘If Messi doesn’t want to stay, nothing can change his mind’ – Figo intrigued by Barcelona exit saga

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The former Blaugrana star was “surprised” to see the Argentine push for a move over the summer and expects further twists and turns to come

Luis Figo believes Lionel Messi may yet force his way through the exits at Camp Nou, with Barcelona warned that “nothing can change your mind” once you set your heart on making a fresh start.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner pushed for a move away from the Liga giants over the summer.

Having grown disillusioned with life at the only club side he has represented over the course of a distinguished career to date, Messi decided that the time was right for a new challenge.

The likes of Manchester City and Inter were quick to position themselves at the front of a transfer queue, but no talks could be held as Barca stood firm.

Messi revealed to Goal that he will be honouring the final year of his contract, with those terms taking him through to 2021.

No extension has been agreed to that deal as yet, meaning that the 33-year-old will be free to speak with interested parties from January.

Figo is intrigued to see how a remarkable sporting story plays out, with the Portuguese conceding that Messi may have already decided that a departure is on the cards in Catalunya.

The former Barca winger told Marca: “I watched the thing with Messi and his attempt to leave Barcelona this summer like all football fans: expectantly and surprised.

“He’ll have his motives and reasons for making that decision. I don’t know what happened beforehand.

“Every club wants to have a player like Messi, but then it depends on factors like the current financial situation at the club, the money he’ll cost the club in wages, the will of the player…

“But generally, in life, if you don’t want to be somewhere, in the end there’s nothing that can change your mind.”

Opinion regarding Messi’s next move remains divided, with plenty tipping him to stay put and agree another contract at Barca.

Others believe that he is destined to explore alternative options at the turn of the year, with Barca not holding their presidential elections until late in January, and that the likes of City may get the chance to put the most remarkable of deals in place.