Lionel Messi’s ex-Argentina team-mate Pablo Zabaleta insists his old club Manchester City is the ‘BEST place’ for him as he urges the star to walk away from ‘sad situation’ at Barcelona
- Lionel Messi has struggled to produce his best form for Barcelona this season
- The forward’s Barcelona contract expires in the summer and he is likely to leave
- Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are favourites to land his signature
- Pablo Zabaleta believes Messi should leave Barca and says City is a perfect fit
Lionel Messi has been urged to walk away from his ‘sad situation’ at Barcelona and join Manchester City by his former Argentina team-mate Pablo Zabaleta.
Barcelona star Messi is facing an uncertain future with just over six months remaining on his £500,000-a-week contract.
The 33-year-old, who attempted to force a move through to Manchester City in the summer, has been far from his best this season with Barcelona struggling to get going under new boss Ronald Koeman.
Lionel Messi has been far from best this season and faces uncertain future at Barcelona
Pablo Zabaleta (L) urged his former international team-mate to leave and join Manchester City
Former City defender Zabaleta has been concerned by Messi’s slump in form and believes his old club would be the perfect fit for him.
‘Manchester City is the best place for Messi,’ Zabaleta said.
‘It’s sad to see him in his current situation. I never thought he’d go into his last year of contract at Barcelona.
‘The team aren’t playing well and it seems as though they’re not enjoying their football. We’ll see what happens with Messi at the end of the season.’
Barcelona president hopeful Emili Rousaud confirmed earlier this week that Messi would have to take a pay cut on his mammoth wages in order to stay at Barcelona, putting further doubts over his future at the club.
The forward, who has scored just eight goals from 15 games this season – and just three from open play, wanted to leave in the summer but stayed put after being dragged into a legal row over a clause in his contract.
Messi only has six months left on his deal and will have to take a pay cut to stay at Barcelona
Jorge Messi (left) called out a report he had met a Qatari consulate to talk about a move to Paris Saint-Germain for his son in the summer as ‘false’ and ‘another invention’ (right)
City will face competition from several of Europe’s big hitters, including Paris Saint-Germain, for Messi’s signature with the forward’s father recently denying reports in Spain that he had met with a Qatari consulate to discuss a move to the French capital.
However, Zabaleta believes Messi’s relationship with Sergio Aguero and his former boss Pep Guardiola could give his old club the edge.
He added: ‘Messi has a close friend in Sergio at City and he has worked with Pep before at Barcelona.
‘They know each other and some of the other people on the board know him as well.
‘If Messi decides to leave Barcelona and play in a different country, then of course City are a club he could join.’
Zabaleta (L) believes City will have an edge over PSG and would be a perfect fit for Messi (R)
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