Recent reports suggest that Argentine forward Lionel Messi may be departing Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) this summer, despite only joining the French club in 2021. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner signed a two-year contract with PSG, which is set to expire in less than three months.
Messi’s contract includes a one-year extension option, but PSG seems to have no plans of retaining him under the same terms. After winning the World Cup with Argentina in December, PSG was optimistic about signing Messi to a new contract. However, the future of the 35-year-old has since become uncertain, and he was even booed by PSG fans during their Ligue 1 defeat to Lyon over the weekend.
Despite PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s commitment to keeping Messi, a possible departure may be on the cards this summer. Reports suggest that talks between Al-Khelaifi and Messi’s father Jorge about a one-year extension have not materialized into anything more. Although discussions are still ongoing, the chances of an agreement are decreasing.
Messi left Barcelona in 2021 due to the Blaugrana’s financial crisis, but rumors suggest that he may return to the Catalan club despite their economic concerns. Other clubs in Saudi Arabia and MLS are also reportedly interested in Messi, but he supposedly still desires to compete in the Champions League for the 2023-24 season.
A new short-term contract with PSG cannot be ruled out, but the Paris club may ask Messi to take a significant pay cut. PSG could potentially ask Messi to reduce his salary by as much as 25%, which he may be reluctant to do. However, the lack of concrete offers from other Champions League clubs may force his hand.
Messi has scored 18 goals and provided 17 assists in 33 matches for PSG this season, and his departure would be a significant loss for the club. Regardless of where he ends up, Messi will undoubtedly continue to be one of the best football players in the world.