The former defender, who has played alongside two iconic forwards for club and country, is intrigued by a long-running transfer saga
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero could be lining up alongside each other at club level next season, with Pablo Zabaleta of the opinion that long-running sagas at Barcelona and Manchester City could be about to get turned on their head.
Ever since the six-time Ballon d’Or winner made a push for the exits at Camp Nou in the summer of 2020, speculation has raged around an all-time great – with the Etihad Stadium mooted as a possible landing spot.
Aguero is among those to have welcomed those rumours, but he is approaching free agency himself and may end up joining an iconic countryman in Catalunya as he is linked with a switch when his contract in England expires.
What has been said?
Zabaleta played alongside Aguero and Messi during his distinguished career and can see a former City colleague joining an ex-international team-mate in Spain.
He has told Forever Blue: “Messi is in his last year of contract. There were elections last Sunday and a new president; all he [Joan Laporta] wants is to convince Messi to stay.
“One of the reasons to keep Messi is to bring Sergio to Barcelona. A few weeks ago, it was Messi to Man City because Sergio was there and it could be good for Messi to be reunited and to work with people he knows from Barcelona before.
“It’s very difficult, there’s a lot of media speculation. Sometimes when people ask me about what I think about these situations, I just try to think about what could be the best option for one of them, if they make a decision.
“We all need to respect and accept the decisions that they make at the end of the season, even for Lionel Messi – he’s spent his whole life at Barcelona, it would be very strange to see Lionel Messi leave Barca. We all expect him to stay and never leave Barca.
“Nobody expected Barca to go into administration and to have problems with payments or big problems off the field that could make Messi want to leave the club.”
What could happen with Aguero and Messi?
City’s all-time leading goalscorer has acknowledged the speculation linking him with Barca, but says there is no substance to it at present.
Messi, meanwhile, is growing tired of the incessant rumours regarding his future.
Goal has learned that the 33-year-old will be making no decision on his next move until the end of the season, with there still a chance that he will commit to fresh terms and extend a career-long association with the Blaugrana.