Lionel Messi, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, may be leaving Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) this summer. Messi signed a two-year contract with PSG in 2021, which is set to expire in a few months. The club has the option to extend his contract for another year, but it seems that PSG is not interested in doing so. After winning the world championship with Argentina in December, PSG was reportedly optimistic about keeping Messi on a new deal, but that optimism has faded.
During the Ligue 1 loss to Lyon at the Parc des Princes, Messi was jeered by PSG supporters, according to Sports Mole. L’Equipe reports that Messi and PSG may part ways this summer, despite Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s promise to do everything in his power to keep the player at the club. Al-Khelaifi and Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, reportedly had productive conversations about a one-year contract during the World Cup break, but those talks have not progressed further.
Messi left Barcelona in 2021 due to the club’s financial crisis, which still limits their ability to sign players. However, he is linked to a return to Barcelona. Messi is rumored to want to play in the Champions League for the 2023-24 season, and clubs in Saudi Arabia and the MLS are reportedly trying to sign him away from PSG.
It is possible that Messi will sign a new short-term contract with PSG, but the club will demand that he accept a significant wage cut. Messi may be reluctant to agree to a 25% wage cut, but the absence of firm offers from other Champions League clubs may force his hand.
In his debut season in France, Messi only scored six goals in Ligue 1, but he has since found his form, scoring 18 goals and providing 17 assists in 33 games. He currently leads PSG by six points at the top of the Ligue 1 standings after 67 appearances across all competitions.
According to RMC Sport, PSG will allow Messi to walk away for free at the end of the season unless the club’s Qatari owners prioritize his extension. PSG wanted to agree on an extension with Messi before and during the 2022 World Cup, but his performances have dropped since returning.
PSG fans booed Messi before their game against Lyon, and he produced a forgettable performance as PSG lost to Lyon. The French giants have lost twice as many games in 2023 (eight) as in 2022 (four). Messi’s entourage is pushing for a better contract after his World Cup success, which does not help PSG’s financial fair play (FFP) issues. PSG already has one of the highest wage bills in the world, and getting rid of Messi’s salary makes sense.
PSG’s sporting director, Luis Campos, wants to break up the club’s superstar attacking line. Kylian Mbappe is crucial to PSG, but Messi and Neymar are dispensable. It seems likely that Messi will leave the club this summer, and PSG may also try to sell Neymar, who has a longer contract than Messi.
Christophe Galtier, PSG’s head coach, may also leave the club after a disappointing second half of the season. The former Lille manager must win his next two games to keep his job, but it seems that his future does not lie with PSG as they will sack him at the end of the season. PSG’s first choice to replace Galtier is France icon Zinedine Zidane.