Pep Guardiola not only hopes, but he believes, that Lionel Messi will finish his playing career at Barcelona despite the public discord which has come out of the Catalan club this week.
Messi and Barca sporting director Eric Abidal traded barbs earlier this week over the current culture at the club, culminating in the world’s undisputed best player challenging his former teammates “to name names.” This has, of course, led to days of speculation that Messi could leave the only club for which he has every played.
Guardiola, who managed Messi for four trophy-filled seasons, hopes the Argentine will stay put, and expects he will ultimately do so, despite the fact that Manchester City might be Messi’s likeliest destination should he ever leave the Camp Nou — quotes from the Guardian:
“He is a player from Barcelona and he will stay there, that’s my wish for him to stay there. I’m not going to talk about players playing for other clubs. I think he will finish his career there, that’s my wish.”
While Messi’s current contract runs through the summer of 2021, there is an exit clause which would allow him to terminate his deal a year early and leave the club on a free transfer this summer.