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Lionel Messi could be available for a free transfer in January after reported contract decision

Lionel Messi is reportedly not willing to sign a contract until the end of the year, leaving him free to talk to other clubs

Nothing beats getting something for free. Two-for-one deal on spaghetti hoops down at Tescos? That’s going straight in my basket.

Football clubs are just the same. Except they aren’t dealing in spaghetti hoops, they’re dealing in world-class athletes.

What are we waffling on about? Lionel Messi has put Barcelona contract negotiations off until the end of the season, according to Onda Cero.

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Barcelona players are going to extreme measures to keep Messi at the club

EPA
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Barcelona players are going to extreme measures to keep Messi at the club

But why is that significant?

With Messi’s contract expiring in the summer, any club outside of Spain would be able to talk to the Argentinian about a free transfer in January.

That loud noise you can hear is Pep Guardiola urgently checking his phone to make sure he’s still got Messi’s number.

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Strong beard game

AFP or licensors
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Strong beard game

While Messi verbally agreed a new contract earlier in the year, nothing has been officially signed yet.

Barcelona executives used a press conference today to say Messi would sign a contract ‘soon’ but these reports seem to contradict their claim.

There’s been some big free transfers in recent years, namely Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move to Man United and Robert Lewandowski swapping Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich, but this would top the lot.

That’s one way to stop him

AFP or licensors
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That’s one way to stop him

It would put the icing on the cake of what has been a torrid time for Barcelona, with Neymar breaking up MSN and moving to PSG.

So would he go to City? Or would he be tempted to prove that he can do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke?

The possibilities are endless (almost).

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