For many years now, many people have associated Messi with Barcelona. But during the last transfer window, Messi dropped a bombshell when he said that he wanted to leave Nou Camp. To make matters worse, his contract with the Catalans expires in June 2021, and he is yet to sign a new contract. This has led to a lot of speculations on whether he will be staying in Barcelona beyond 2021. And if he extends his contract, will he finally retire in Barcelona? Let’s find out.

The Chances of Messi leaving in 2021

After serving Barcelona for over two decades, the unwillingness by Messi to sign a new contract has raised a lot of eyebrows. A change in the Barcelona presidency has made it likely that he might be around for another season or two. Recent reports indicate that he has set out a list of conditions for the Catalans before he can put pen to paper.

On the other hand, Barcelona is desperate to keep their captain. While the talisman agreeing to stay is a positive development for the club, time may be running out. We are already in June when his contract expires and the possibility of the 5 times Ballon d’Or winner donning another team’s jerseys is still a possibility.

Some clubs mentioned as possible destinations for Messi are PSG and Manchester City. But Barcelona isn’t taking anything to chances and has roped Sergio Aguero, Messi’s close friend and an Argentine teammate to lure him to continue staying at Camp Nou.

As things stand, there is a high possibility of Messi staying in Barcelona for a year or two. He is only waiting to hear Joan Laporta’s plans for next season. Apparently, Messi wants to see a team that can compete for major titles. The Barcelona president has already promised that, and he was quoted saying big decisions will be made soon.

Will Messi retire in Barcelona?

In 2019, Messi was reported as stating that he wanted to retire in Barcelona, The reason he gave was that he didn’t want to interrupt his family’s lives. He stated that he believed they could stay in Catalonia for the rest of their lives, including after retirement. Messi also suggested that it was still his dream to experience Argentinian football and play at Newell’s where he is a club icon although he left the club as a 13-year old boy. But he concluded that his family interest came first.

But with the September 2020 saga still unresolved, will his words stand, or has he changed his mind? While speaking to Spanish media in May 2021, Laporta revealed that there was optimism that the forward would sign a new deal. He admitted that there was a lot of progress relating to the ongoing talks with Messi, and it was only a matter of when and not if the contract would be signed.

Spanish media have also reported that Messi is set to sign a new two years deal at Barcelona. That means he will be staying in Camp Nou until 2023 when he will be aged 35. With Messi proving that he is still on top of his game with 30 goals in the just concluded season, the contract could still be extended longer. Therefore, the chances of Messi retiring in Barcelona are quite high.

Probability of Messi’s departure in the summer

Messi is without doubt one of the best players of our generation. He also remains an icon in his home country. It is doubtful that he will make a move to his first Argentinian club, Newell’s Old Boys. Many popular betting companies listed on the Argentinian website Casino Online Argentina offers very high odds that he will end up in his old home town. The favorites to get the Argentinian giant’s signature is Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain.

If you are betting on whether he will stay or leave Barcelona, you’d more likely win money if you bet on him staying rather than leaving this summer. He is likely to end his career with the Catalans. But like they say, everything is possible in football. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in another team’s jersey.