On Thursday afternoon news came through that Lionel Messi was leaving Barcelona. Surely not, the greatest player of all time not to be seen wearing a Barcelona shirt ever again is going to happen.

It was during Euro 2020 that whispers were circulating that the Argentinian legend would not be seen in a Barca shirt again. The news has stunned a lot of people in the football world. Barcelona issued a simple ten word statement on Thursday.

Shock horror, Messi is leaving

“Latest news: Leo Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona.”

It must be said it is a little said that the maestro will not be able to finish his season at the club. If Barcelona would have been run differently then Messi would still be at the club.

Barcelona put out an interesting statement regarding the Messi news. “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles.”

Basically this means that under Spanish competition rules the club can’t register a new player until the wage bill has been cleared. The reality of the footballing world at the moment is that outside England clubs are struggling.

The pandemic having a serious affect on football finances

The Covid situation has had a big bearing on the finances of all football clubs. Atalanta, Seville and others including Barcelona simply haven’t got big money any more to spend.

A decade ago Barcelona were on top of the world. A team with two Champions League titles in three years with Messi at the helm were unstoppable.

Who would have imagined back then that a big club like Barcelona would end up broke? Their total debts currently exceed £1 billion. Hence the reason the club can’t keep the little magician.

Barcelona have overspent drastically

The club have overspent drastically, and have still not stopped signing players. So this now begs the question of what does the future hold for Messi and Barca.

For Barcelona it would appear that once a great club will be taking a long time until they get back to where they were in their pomp. As for Messi, PSG and Man City look like the favorites to sign the little man. The French giants could well be his preferred choice, but don’t rule out City.

Pep has always had a soft spot for Messi and would be up for adding him to an already impressive squad. Having signed Jack Grealish for a British record signing of £1 million pounds, adding Messi would be the icing on the cake.