Lionel Messi’s deal at the Camp Nou comes to an end next summer, and he is free to negotiate a pre-contract with the clubs from 1 January.

Messi could join Manchester City from January

Pablo Zabaleta played with Lionel Messi for Argentina, and he approved a possible move that could see his compatriot leave Barcelona to join Manchester City. Messi’s deal at the Camp Nou comes to an end next summer, and he is free to negotiate a pre-contract with the clubs from 1 January. “I know Messi shouldn’t enjoy this situation right now,” Zabaleta told reporters. “He has to think about what’s best for the future and get the club back on the trophy track. I don’t know the plans for City and Messi’s idea. The best thing for him is to focus on the current situation. If he has to change clubs, I would be pleased if he chose Manchester City.

There’s a link between Barcelona and Leo Messi

The former Espanyol and Manchester City right-back has made it clear that, despite rumours surrounding his future, Messi is the happiest on the pitch. “There has always been a link between Barcelona and Messi, which we never imagined, could be extended to this point,” Zabaleta explained. “Everything seems uncertain because of his future, and on an institutional level, Barcelona are in a difficult situation. Several things mean that Leo is never happy. Where he is happy is on the field. Messi is a winner and a competitor; he wants the best for Barcelona. I wish him all the happiness he can find and we’ll see if he can find it at Barcelona.”

Zabaleta came up against current Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard when the Belgian played for Chelsea, with the Argentine admitting how tough it was. “I have always had one of my best fights with Hazard,” he stated. “I’m a full-back, and I know I have to go up against the best; it was challenging. Hazard said in an interview that I was one of the toughest players he faced, and that comforts me”. Manchester City haven’t gotten off to their best start this season. But the right-back is hoping they’ll turn things around soon. “I know the intensity with which Guardiola is going through the games. And I understand that it has not the best start for City this season,” admitted Zabaleta. Hopefully, they will regain their good feelings and join the fight soon.”