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What Next for Messi and the Future of Barcelona?

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Barcelona's astonishing downfall

Since they last lifted the Champions League trophy in the 2014/15 season, Barcelona have fallen from grace as they crashed out in the quarter-finals in embarrassing style on numerous occasions.

In that time, it has been a horror story for the Spanish giants who have seen their club humiliated in three consecutive Champions League campaigns, the latest being against Bayern Munich in which they lost 8-2. Prior to this, Barcelona lost to both Roma and Liverpool after seemingly comfortable positions from the first leg.

This year has seen further heartbreak for the club, who have received no silverware with exits out of both domestic cups as well as finishing as runners-up in La Liga.

In truth, from being one of the greatest teams in the modern era to where they are now is a damming tale of where the great club is at. The inability to replace star names and lack of calibre within the ranks has only made the club spend millions and achieve little.

The new Barcelona manager

Due to the recent events, manager Quique Setien, has left his role following the embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern.

The most favoured appointment to replace the manager is former Barcelona player, Ronald Koeman, after reports from Fabrizio Romano suggested the deal and an announcement is imminent.

Many of the managers that have been linked with the role, it could be argued that some are not deemed acceptable candidates of such grand responsibility, which throws further worry into the hearts of Barcelona fans.

However, one who is righteous is their former boss, Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard, after recent Champions League failures as well as a poor performance in the league, will no doubt be looked at, with an exit from Manchester City always possible. Unquestionably, this move is out of Barcelona’s hands, but if they can prize their ex-manager away from Manchester, then surely this would be the perfect start for a new era at the Camp Nou and Pep Guardiola to Barcelona odds are priced at 15/8.

One manager who has also been mentioned is their legendary former player, Xavi, who has started his management career at Al Saad in Qatar. As seen frequently with club legends, many have moved back to their old clubs to become managers such as Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer - each have exceeded their expectations in some way or another.

Bringing on Xavi would be a long term role, but one that has more questions than answers and, therefore, remains a serious risk.

the future of lionel messi

After the recent circumstances in the past few seasons, the future of their all-time top scorer, Lionel Messi, has been in doubt with many wondering if he will finally leave the club. As stated in reports from Marcelo Bechler - who was first to say Neymar was moving to PSG - Messi wants to terminate his contract and move on at the nearest chance.

According to a report from Mundo Deportive, Messi, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Frankie De Jong, Ansu Fati and Clement Lenglet are not for sale and remain the only ‘safe’ players. Due to his age of 33, a move away from Barca could be a now or never situation, but should he leave, it will come at a serious price, as we witnessed with Neymar.

The likes of City are talked about when signing the Argentine and clubs as such with great wealth will surely be the only names that could acquire such unrivalled services. Messi’s future is up in the air, but one that won’t be fixed anytime soon. However, one thing is for certain: Barcelona cannot let him go.

Messi odds to stay Barcelona before June 2021 sit at 1/2 and Messi odds to leave Barcelona have odds of 13/8. There are then the markets on which club the Argentine could join, and Messi to City odds are 13/10, most notably.

Barcelona transfer rumours

With Barcelona set for a colossal rebuild after a miserable few seasons, many have rumoured who will be brought into the side. As alluded to, reports have has suggested most of its players are available for a transfer, except for only a few. However, in reality, there can’t be an entire overhaul in transfers due to Financial Fair Play and the current climate of the world will no doubt hinder the majority of superstar signings across Europe.

After their recent exit of the Champions League against Bayern, there has been little spoken on possible transfers as bigger headlines have superseded. However, one rumour that has not disappeared for the past campaigns is a return move for Neymar.

According to Spanish newspaper, SPORT, President Josep Bartomeu, has drawn a plan to bring the former Barcelona player back to the club which could include Antoine Griezmann apart of the deal.

No other news has circulated as the Spanish side look to replace Setien first. With the confirmation to occur soon, more rumours will emerge on who the manager will sign and there can be no two ways about it: Barcelona need an almighty overhaul.

Barcelona transfer odds:

  • Paulo Dybala to Barcelona odds - 14/1
  • Neymar to Barcelona odds - 9/4
  • Hector Bellerin to Barcelona transfer odds - 5/1
  • Kylian Mbappe Barcelona odds - 13/1
  • Harry Kane Barcelona odds - 12/1
  • Gabriel Jesus Barcelona odds -20/1
  • Raul Jimenez Barcelona odds - 6/1
  • Jadon Sancho Barcelon odds - 25/1
  • Kalidou Koulibaly Barcelona odds - 16/1
  • Sadio Mane Barcelona odds - 6/1
  • Tanguy Ndombele Barcelona transfer odds - 11/1