Manchester City would be “the best place” for Lionel Messi if he decides to take on a Premier League adventure, says Pablo Zabaleta, with the Argentine superstar considered to have lost his love for football at Barcelona.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner made one push for the exits at Camp Nou over the summer after growing disillusioned with life on and off the field in Catalunya.
Barca moved to block his path, leading the 33-year-old to reveal in an exclusive interview with Goal that he will be honouring the final year of his contract.
Zabaleta believes his fellow countryman would welcome the opportunity to test himself in the Premier League, particularly as there are already a number of familiar faces at the Etihad Stadium.
The former City defender told Stadium Astro:
“First of all it is sad to see Messi in that situation.
“I never thought he would be in a final year of his contract at Barcelona. The team is not playing well and seems that he is not enjoying his football, he’s not happy, and we will see what happens with Messi at the end of the season.
“He has a close friend in Sergio [Aguero] at Man City and has worked with Pep [Guardiola] at Barcelona before, so they know each other. Some of the people on the board also know Messi.
“If Messi decides that he wants to leave Barcelona, that he wants to go and play in a different league, in a different country, of course Man City would be one of them.
“I know Leo and he has been at Barcelona for so long. I wish he stays at Barcelona. Pep has said this before. He loves the club and I don’t see him leaving Barcelona. But if he decides to leave, then maybe Man City would be a place for him to go and enjoy. Every player would like to have an experience in the Premier League.”