The recent feud between Lionel Messi and PSG opens the doors for his departure. With Barcelona, Major League Soccer and one of the wealthy clubs in Saudi Arabia courting the Argentine, Messi has options to choose from.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Messi will not be a PSG player next season. While Messi was not on board with the project before, his breaking point just happened. PSG suspended Messi for two weeks after an unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia. That was part of Messi’s contract with Visit Saudi, the country’s tourism board, that pocketed Messi over $30 million per year.
Messi’s camp claimed it was a miscommunication between the club and the player, who asked for permission to go after PSG lost to Lorient. The club did not grant permission, and the relationship is now out the window.
This could create potential relationships with one of the aforementioned locations.
Where Messi can go after PSG feud
Messi’s former club is in the market for Messi. For reference, it did not want to lose its star, but the raging debt crisis at the club forced his hand. Barcelona President Joan Laporta has stated his intentions to bring Messi back to Camp Nou. In April, he even stated that Messi will return to the Blaugrana.
However, BBC Sport columnist Guillem Balague does not think this is feasible. The club has to make financial room for other players, and is constantly in a battle to register Gavi to the senior squad. Regardless, this could make Messi available to what Balague calls “less financially attractive options.”
Major League Soccer
That less attractive option is MLS. The top flight in the United States cannot match the money offerings in Europe or Asia. Yet, there are consistent musings over rumors that Messi is coming to the league. Inter Miami was the club that looked the most likely. To lure Messi over, there was an exchange of ownership shares on the table in Messi’s alleged contract.
Major League Soccer, as a league, would likely pull strings to get Messi into North America. That includes all the clubs in the league chipping in to pay for his lofty salaries. Regardless, Messi’s wage demands in the latter stages of his career might rule out MLS.
The financially attractive option for Messi is Saudi Arabia. Saudi club Al Hilal offered Messi over $400 million to play one season in the Saudi Pro League. This is the same competition as Cristiano Ronaldo, where the Portuguese is making just over $200 million per year.
Given the fact that Messi already has a contract with the tourism board in Saudi Arabia, it would not be out of the question to see Messi rake in more millions in the twilight of his career.
The always-reserved Messi has not commented on the situation. Only his father confirmed he will not play for PSG after this season and the feud between Messi and the club.
THE OTHER OPTION
Messi wants to win a Champions League medal. Hence, one of the major reasons he joined PSG in the first place. However, with PSG unlikely to renew a deal with Messi this summer due to financial fair play restrictions, a club in the Champions League could lure Messi. That’s easy to say, but there are very few top European clubs in the Champions League who can afford Messi’s wages. With Barcelona and PSG both potentially ruled out, could a Premier League club awash with cash make an offer that’s too good to refuse? Only time can tell.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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