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Messi could leave Barcelona as a free agent

Terry Gibson insists the possibility of Barcelona star man Lionel Messi leaving on a free transfer next summer is not as unlikely as people would think.

In July, it was reported that the club and player had agreed terms over a fresh deal but Messi is yet to sign the contract that would see him stay at the Camp Nou until 2021.

Gibson believes Messi is seriously considering what the future holds for the Spanish giants and could be tempted by a move to Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, who both have the financial power to sign the Argentinian.

“I always thought Lionel Messi, like Andres Iniesta and Xavi, would spend the bulk of the serious part of his career at Barcelona,” he told ‘Sky Sports’.

“For years I found it hard to envisage how anyone could afford to take Messi away from Barcelona, but now we’ve seen the emergence of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

“Now I’m looking at the fact he’s got only a year left on his contract. I think the new contract offer is worth €24m-a-year but if he was available on a free transfer Barca’s offer would get dwarfed. If a PSG or a Manchester City can get an out-of-contract Messi we’re talking, with the price of players now, €100m, €150m, €200m.

“I know he’s 30 now but in terms of prestige and what a signing like that can bring to the club would be a real coup. It’s not just the marketing, it is 50 games and 50 goals a season in whatever league he goes and plays in. I didn’t think it would happen, but I actually think it might now.”

The news will shock fans, but club president Jose Maria Bartomeu assured the Barcelona faithful there is no reason to worry about the contract situation as Messi’s father has already signed it.

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