Lionel Messi has been given permission to miss this weekend’s game against Eibar in order to rest before this summer’s Copa America, meaning he could have played his final game for Barcelona, according to ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Messi is out of contract in June and Barca president Joan Laporta is convinced the 33-year-old will renew despite wanting to leave last summer.
Barcelona plans to offer the Argentinian a two-year deal with the option for an additional year, according to Marsden and Llorens. The terms will also include the chance for him to finish his career in Major League Soccer before returning to Barcelona in a non-playing capacity.
Messi requested a transfer from Barca after an 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich last season. According to Andrea Orlandi, Messi’s former teammate, the forward felt isolated and missed his “best friend” Luis Suarez when he wanted to leave the club.
There’s still a genuine possibility Messi departs this summer. According to Marsden and Llorens, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are continuing to monitor his situation at Camp Nou.
Messi played 47 games for Barcelona this season, scoring 38 goals in all competitions. If he’s available this summer, he’ll be one of the most sought-after free agents in years.