Lionel Messi's long and celebrated journey with Barcelona is likely to come to an end soon as the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has expressed his wish to end his contract. Seeing the opportunity in acquiring one of the best footballers in the world, Manchester City seems very optimistic about signing Messi as soon as he quits the Barcelona.

With the end of Messi's contract with Barcelona, their 20-year relationship, which started when Messi was 13, will also come to an end. This has triggered intense speculation about Messi's next move.

His fans have also speculated that the matter might end up in court as Barcelona has denied the recent reports. There is at least the possibility that if Messi's contract is taken to court, then he could walk free, essentially giving him the free space to decide his next destination, i.e. whatever team he pleases to join and demand whatever he wants.

While the possibility of Messi switching teams being bandied out, Manchester City, which is owned by the United Arab Emirates, is prominently mentioned as the destination for the Barcelona star.

FC Barcelona has more money than anyone, but the Argentinean forward has already expressed his desire to leave due to his dissatisfaction with the club's politics and poor decisions by its directors. Messi's contract extension negotiations with Barca beyond next June has also been put on hold and there's no guarantee of his future career with the club. Well, probably any team in the world wouldn't want to miss out the opportunity to sign Messi no matter the cost. Intriguing possibilities have already started shaping up for Messi even before leaving the Barca club.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi Reuters

Messi-Barcelona Buyout Clause

Lionel Messi's contract with Barcelona Football Club is about to expire in 2021. His release or buyout clause according to the signed contract is $825 million. Messi signed a new four-year contract with this hefty clause with the club in 2017. Moreover, there's no guarantee that fresh terms will be signed after the expiry of his current contract with Barcelona. Reportedly, his current clause will allow him to terminate his deal unilaterally allowing him to leave for free even before its expiry.

While it is difficult to even imagine Messi playing for a different club, this time, the soccer player seems to have strongly made up his mind to leave Barcelona. Barca have endured a truly dismal season as the club missed out on La Liga glory before being disgracefully dumped out of the Champions League. Club politics seems to have also added fuel to Messi's decision to quit Barcelona Football Club.