Every option is still on the table – but we prefer to think that Leo is closer to the Barca stay.
Why Man City won't go for Messi
Reason 1: Messi's relationship with new president may be crucial
There are few people who know exactly who Leo Messi would vote for in the upcoming election; what we know for sure is that most candidates set the 'make Messi happy again!' task their priority – and that's what makes his stay a likely option.
Reason 2: Koeman may still be the right guy
Messi won't need to wait until May to find out whether he's part of a 'winning project' – the Spanish Supercopa games will be played in January and they may actually decide the whole saga with a finger snap.
Reason 3: Pep always wanted Messi to retire at Barca
The Catalan legend could dream of boosting City's Champions League chances by having Messi, but he has always said that his personal wish is for Leo to hang his boots at Camp Nou.
Reason 4: Yes Messi, No long-term project
Football fans used to speak of Manchester City as of moneybags but today, it is also about developing youngsters and giving plenty of opportunities to home-grown players (Phil Foden and Tommy Doyle are just a few examples).
Bringing Messi to Etihad definitely means that the system would be half-broken. The first thing on the to-do list is 'to make Messi happy' and then comes all the rest.
Why Man City could actually go for Messi
Reason 1: Financial strength
The summer transfer window gave us all a hint that Man City are the only European side who can afford Leo's wages. If Messi leaves for free, it means that the Citizens won't need to pay an extra €100m-200m and can focus on drafting the perfect contract for the Argentine.
Reason 2: Pep's renewal gives green light
Pep might want this to happen but Man City fans are the ones who actually want this to happen!
It's also quite special that Guardiola has extended the deal until 2022 – rumour had it that Man City had prepared a 2-year offer for Messi as well. What a perfect time to reunite.
Reason 3: We see tired Leo everywhere
Even after Bartomeu is gone, nothing has seemingly changed much at Barca. Messi is fed up with being blamed for everything, his radiant smile is still a rare thing and he apparently feels mistreated by the club after all he has done.
He may think it's still the right time for changes.