'Messi joining Man City would make me very happy!' - Zabaleta hopes Barcelona star moves to Etihad if he leaves Camp Nou
The 33-year-old thought he could activate the release clause in his contract in order to leave the club on a free transfer, but the Blaugrana successfully blocked his departure with the help of La Liga.
He eventually announced his decision to see out the final year of his deal in Catalunya during an exclusive interview with Goal, but also confessed that he no longer feels Barca are capable of competing at the very highest level.
Messi has continued to enjoy a prominent role in the team at the start of the 2020-21 campaign, despite the ongoing speculation surrounding his future, with Ronald Koeman the latest man charged with bringing the best out of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.
However, the Dutchman has been unable to inspire the diminutive forward so far, and questions are being asked of his output in the final third, with five of six goals this term coming from the penalty spot.
City have been mooted as the most likely landing spot for Messi if he pushes for a move again next year, with the prospect of a reunion with former Camp Nou boss Pep Guardiola seen as a potential draw for the Argentine.
Zabaleta would like to see his fellow countryman make his way to Manchester should his struggles at Barca continue, but insists he does not know for sure what the next chapter of his old team-mate's career will hold.
"I know that Messi must not be enjoying this situation right now,"the former City defender told Marca.
"He must just be thinking about what is best for the future and getting the club back on track to win trophies.I don't know the plans for City and Messi's idea.
"The best thing for him is to focus on the current situation. If he has to change clubs, I would be very happy if City were chosen."
Zabaleta added on the importance of Messi rediscovering his enthusiasm for the game after a turbulent period at Camp Nou:"There was alwaysa link between Barcelona and Leothat we never imagined could be stretched to this point.
"Everything seems to be uncertain because of his future, and at an institutional level Barcelona are in a complicated situation.
"There are several things that mean that Leo is not going through a moment of happiness. Where he is happy is on the pitch.
Source : goal.com
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