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Barcelona legend Luis Figo reckons Lionel Messi has already decided his future – saying: "If you don't want to be somewhere, there's nothing that can change your mind."
Messi rocked the football world in the summer when he handed in a transfer request at Barcelona, the club he had represented since the age of 12.
The Argentine superstar had become increasingly vocal in his criticism of the La Liga giants, and there was much speculation he was set for a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Barca insisted that any club interested would have to pay the £600million buyout clause, and the 33-year-old stayed put to see out the final year of his contract.
However, Messi will be free to leave next summer – and has fallen short of his usual standards at times this season, having scored his first goal from open play only last weekend.
Lionel Messi scored from open play for the first time this season against Real Betis last weekend
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
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Lionel Messi has 'two demands' that must be met before he'd sign for Man City
And Figo reckons he has already made his mind about leaving the Nou Camp.
"I watched the thing with Messi and his attempt to leave Barcelona this summer like all football fans: expectantly and surprised," said the former Portugal star, who won two La Liga titles with Barcelona.
"He'll have his motives and reasons for making that decision. I don't know what happened beforehand."
Figo said there will be plenty of club's lining up to sign Messi – but whether they can afford his wages is another matter.
Luis Figo reckons Messi has already decided to leave Barcelona next summer
Barcelona 'will have to pay Lionel Messi loyalty bonus' even if he leaves on free
"Every club wants to have a player like Messi, but then it depends on factors like the current financial situation at the club, the money he'll cost the club in wages, the will of the player…
"But generally, in life, if you don't want to be somewhere, in the end there's nothing that can change your mind."
City are still being tipped as the likely destination for Messi if he does leave Barca next summer.
Messi, pictured during Argentina's 1-1 draw with Paraguay on Friday, has been linked with a move to Man City
(Image: Juan Ignacio Roncoroni/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
But according to reports from Argentina, that depends on whether manager Guardiola and star striker Sergio Aguero stay at the club.
Messi played under Guardiola for four seasons at the Nou camp, where together they won the Champions League twice and La Liga three times.
Aguero is Messi's international team-mates and a close pal.
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