SO MANCHESTER Messi won’t happen after all, at least for now.
That is because the Argentine footballer has decided to stay.
Had Lionel Messi announced his departure before June, as allowed in his contract, he would have been on his way to Manchester City.
But Messi missed the bus, and for him to reach England, he would have to wait until his contract expires in 2021, or sue his club FC Barcelona for refusing to let him go.
That would be messy, like a child hauling his parents to court.
Messi, after all, declared he loves his one and only club, but not the people running it to the ground, so leave he must.
But while Barca left the door open for striker Luis Suarez to join Serie A’s Juventus, the La Liga club led by president Josep Bartomeu slammed it shut for Messi.
If Messi has any consolation, he can look forward to working with new talented manager Ronald Koeman, who left his Netherlands job to coach the club he’s always wanted to run.
Still, it would be too early to say that Barca’s fortunes would be reversed this season even if Messi plays his professional best.
So Blaugrana fans have little to celebrate, not Messi’s submission, not Bartomeu’s hollow victory over the prized player.
Time will come when Messi will leave the only club he has known in his glorious professional career.
It won’t be this year, it could be next.
The Catalan club will have to learn to do without the greatest player that has ever graced the hallowed fields of Camp Nou.
But for now, FC Barcelona has to settle with a disgruntled Messi, who in turn could just make the most of a few months that fly too fast.