Is this the year we see a Messi - Guardiola reunion?
Manchester City v FC Barcelona – UEFA Champions League Group Stage – Group C – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England – 1/11/16 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi before the match [Reuters / Phil Noble]

For any Barcelona fan, none would have thought the year 2020 would be the one their greatest player EVER would leave the club.

For almost two decades of sensational football at the highest level, Barcelona’s Number 10 Lionel Messi is looking to leave the Camp Nou.

English media throughout the week has been buzzing, following news the World’s Greatest Player was being linked with a move to England.

That’s not all. What made tabloids across Europe go crazy was the strong rumour ‘Lio’ planned to link up, once again with his former boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Is this the year we see a Messi - Guardiola reunion?
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola [Reuters / Darren Staples]

Guardiola, once a Barca player managed the club between 2008 and 2012. In between this period, he won 14 titles:

3- La Liga

2- Champions League

2- Copa Del Rey

3 – Spanish Super Cup

2- European Super Cup

2- FIFA Club World Cup

It is under Guardiola’s tutelage that Messi quickly transformed into the monster of a footballer we recognise today. In his first constant season under Pep (2008-2009), he bagged 38 goals, 23 in the league alone.

Is this the year we see a Messi - Guardiola reunion?
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (R) celebrates in front of his coach Pep Guardiola after scoring a goal against VfB Stuttgart during their Champions League last 16, second leg soccer match at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona March 17, 2010. Picture taken March 17, 2010 [REUTERS/Albert Gea]

The Pep-Messi combination was remarkable; they became the first-ever Spanish top-flight club to achieve a treble, after humbling Manchester United at the 2009 Champions League final on 27 May, Rome, where the little magician scored an ‘impossible-header’ to seal the game. He was also the tournament’s top-scorer with NINE goals.

Messi won his first Ballon d’Or at the age of 22 and went on to win three in a row (2010, 2011, and 2012).

He won another in 2015 and one more in 2019 to make it record-breaking six Ballon d’Ors for one player.

Is this the year we see a Messi - Guardiola reunion?
Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) vies with Manchester City’s French defender Bacary Sagna (R) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 18, 2015. [AFP PHOTO / QUIQUE GARCIA]

Messi fails to turn up at Barcelona PCR testing ahead of pre-season training

On Sunday, August 30 outlets in Spain reported Messi did not attend the PCR testing at FC Barcelona. Messi is reported to be pushing for a move away from Camp Nou.

However, a club would have to trigger his buyout (release) clause, should they want to price him away from Barcelona.

Messi’s release clause is reported being around 700 million Euros (Sh90 billion). This was following a contract he signed in 2017, that would expire in 2021.

Is this the year we see a Messi - Guardiola reunion?

Boys sit on a street as they wait for FC Barcelona’s squad to arrive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test, ahead of the resumption of training on August 31, in Barcelona, Spain August 30, 2020. [Reuters/Nacho Doce]

His legal team is said to be pushing for a clause that allows him to terminate his contract individually, which would allow him to leave FREE before the end of the Spanish transfer window.

A young fan waited for Messi to show up to Barca’s pre-season training ???? pic.twitter.com/AjYfOXqLZF

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