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Superstar forward Lionel Messi is leaning toward leaving the French champions Paris Saint-Germain this summer, according to the latest reports.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner signed a two-year contract at Parc des Princes upon his arrival in 2021, which will expire in less than three months.
PSG May Not Extend Messi Contract
The Argentine international has an option for a one-year contract extension with PSG, but the club reportedly has no intention of exercising it.
PSG’s confidence in their ability to attract Messi to a new deal in the French capital reportedly increased after he won the World Cup with Argentina in December.
Since then, however, the future of the 35-year-old has grown questionable, and he was jeered by his own fans during the weekend’s Ligue 1 loss to Lyon at the Parc des Princes.
The president of PSG, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has sworn to do everything in his power to keep Lionel Messi at the club, but according to L’Equipe, a summer parting may be imminent.
During the World Cup break, Al-Khelaifi and the World Cup winner’s father, Jorge Messi, reportedly held pleasant conversations regarding a one-year contract extension, but nothing has come of it.
Messi will most certainly say his farewell to the French champs in a few months, despite the fact that negotiations are still reportedly ongoing.
The Argentine departed Barcelona in 2021 during the Blaugrana’s financial problems, which continues to impede the Catalan club in the transfer market, but he is still linked with a sensational return.
Barca’s vice-president Rafa Yuste disclosed that the club is in negotiations with Messi’s camp, but the Blaugrana’s remaining financial concerns might still derail a deal.
Messi Move to Saudi Arabia or MLS Increasingly Likely
Saudi Arabian and MLS clubs are rumored to be eager to pry Messi away from Paris, but the attacker reportedly still wants to compete in the Champions League in 2023–24.
The Argentinean was heavily linked to a move to Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal in the summer.
His counterpart and rival for so many years, Cristiano Ronaldo, is already playing in Saudi after moving for big money and Messi will receive the same treatment if he chooses to move.
However, a new short-term contract with PSG cannot be ruled out, although the Parisians would require Messi to take a considerable wage reduction to remain with the club.
Messi would be reluctant to reduce his wage by up to 25 percent, but a lack of serious offers from other Champions League clubs could compel him to comply.
In his first season in France, Messi scored just six goals in Ligue 1, but he has recovered his greatest form to score 18 goals and provide 17 assists in 33 matches this season.
The ex-Barcelona player now has 29 goals and 32 assists in 67 appearances for PSG across all competitions, as Christophe Galtier’s side leads Ligue 1 by six points.
The fact that recent reports have also indicated that PSG will undergo a squad restructuring as they face pressure from FIFA’s financial fair play (FFP) laws.
It has been suggested that the Ligue 1 side will aim to focus on youth players and unearthing talent rather than bring in players for huge sums, as in the case of Neymar Jr.
If PSG pursue this strategy, then it is very unlikely that Messi will be offered a contract extension.
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