Lionel Messi is unlikely to leave Barcelona, admits Javier Saviola, but “anything can happen” and long-standing talk of a switch to Inter could still deliver a stunning transfer.
A modern-day icon has spent his entire career to date at Camp Nou and is currently tied to a contract until 2021.
Barca are confident that they can retain the services of a talismanic figure, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu of the opinion that the 31-year-old will hang up his boots as “a one-club man”.
Saviola believes a fellow Argentine will tread that path, with there no need for him to walk away from a team where he is held in the highest regard.
It is, however, impossible to rule a future move out completely, with Serie A giants Inter having seen talk of a big-money approach drag on for some years now.
Former Barca star Saviola told FCInterNews: “Leo is really identified with Barcelona, it’s hard to imagine him with another shirt.
“In the future, however, anything can happen and that’s why Inter fans can’t lose their faith. But, I repeat, it will be complicated to see Messi join another club.”
While Messi appears unlikely to depart his current surroundings, his eternal rival shocked the football world over the summer when making a switch of his own.
Cristiano Ronaldo traded in life at Real Madrid for that in Italy with Juventus, with the Portuguese opting to take on a new challenge at the age of 33.
Saviola expects a battle for global dominance to continue between two all-time greats, but he is in no doubt as to which of the five-time Ballon d’Or winners should be considered the best.
He told the Hinustan Times: “Personally, I prefer Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo because the way he plays is the way I believe football should be played.
“There is no doubt that Cristiano is a fantastic player but how Messi has played in the last few years shows why he is the best in the world.
“[Kylian] Mbappe is also a great talent who has proved his mettle on the grand stage.
“But, I think it will be really difficult for the new stars to surpass Messi and Cristiano right now.”