Speculation is built when it comes to moving away from the Camp Nou for the superstar of the modern era.

It’s impossible for Messi to leave Barcelona for Real Madrid

Luis Figo gloriously left Barcelona for Real Madrid in 2000. But the Portuguese say it would be “impossible” for Leo Messi to complete a similar move 20 years later. Speculation is built when it comes to moving away from the Camp Nou for the superstar of the modern era. Barça’s 2019-20 struggle, which saw them surrender the Liga title to Real Madrid and crash out from the Champions League on the back of a humble 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, sees serious questions asked in Catalonia. Many of them focus on Messi and the future of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner in his current entourage. The mercurial Argentine has yet to commit to extending the contract beyond the summer of 2020. And negotiations on new terms have allegedly been postponed.

No club will be able to pay for Messi’s release clause

Amid the uncertainty, speculation has been raised that the likes of PSG, Inter and Manchester City may launch daring bidding to extricate Messi from the clutches of Barça. Figo can’t see anyone generating the funds needed to close the deal. With the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic hitting even the wealthiest clubs. So he certainly can’t see Messi following him, crossing the Clasico divide and taking on himself a new challenge at the Santiago Bernabeu. “No club will be able to pay for Messi’s release clause this year,” Figo said. “There is not much movement in the transfer market now. I think it is very difficult or even impossible for any club to pay for Messi’s contract. I think it is impossible to see something similar to what happened to me 20 years ago.”

Messi has yet to discuss his future in public but is said to be in talks with new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman. The South American superstar has previously expressed his frustration when it comes to questions on and off the field at the Camp Nou, with concerns about the direction the club is heading. He must be convinced that Barcelona remains the right club for him, says former team-mate Deco. Deco told reporters: “This is the best player in the club’s history, and his family is connected with the city. It is not easy, but it is also clear that he wants to keep winning. We cannot imagine Barça without Leo, but it can happen.”