Explained: Lionel Messi’s future after PSG exit amid Barcelona and Saudi Arabia rumours | OneFootball

Icon: Evening Standard

Evening Standard

·2 June 2023

Explained: Lionel Messi’s future after PSG exit amid Barcelona and Saudi Arabia rumours

Article image:Explained: Lionel Messi’s future after PSG exit amid Barcelona and Saudi Arabia rumours


ionel Messi’s rather understated time with Paris Saint-Germain will officially come to an end this weekend.

OneFootball Videos

PSG manager Christophe Galtier has confirmed the 35-year-old will leave the club upon the expiration of his contract after the final game of the Ligue 1 season, when the champions host Clermont Foot.

Messi has added two League titles to his trophy haul since moving to the French capital in 2021 after leaving former club Barcelona.

The forward’s remarkable career in at the Camp Nou came to an end after financial problems prevented the club from extending his contract.

While the World Cup winner remains one of the most iconic figures in sport, his next move is uncertain.

Standard Sport explains what could lie ahead for Messi.

The simple answer is, Messi only signed a two-year contract when joining the club in 2021.

Still, the matter is slightly more complicated.

Reports suggest Messi and the club had come to an agreement over the idea of extending his stay before the World Cup. Upon his return from a victorious campaign in Qatar, however, the situation changed.

It is understood that meetings between Messi’s father Jorge and the club did little to move the contract talks along and the player was not likely to accept a wage cut.

Messi, who was booed by supporters following PSG’s exit in the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich in March, was suspended for two weeks without pay by the club following an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia in April.

The forward subsequently apologised for the trip and insisted he believed the team were scheduled to have a day off and has since been reinstated to the first-team as the end of the season draws near.

Where will Messi move to next?

Despite his advancing years, Messi is unlikely to be short of options.

A return to Barca has been mooted since the day he left but, like great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, offers in Europe might be difficult to come by.

Barca are believed to be interested but are not thought to be prepared to offer any guarantees they can finance a deal, while Messi’s camp want a decision imminently.

A lucrative offer in Saudi could emerge with Messi currently an ambassador for the country’s tourism board. Having brought Ronaldo to the Saudi Pro League, there is certainly precedence for those in the Middle East.

Al-Hilal are the club most frequently linked with Messi.

Then there’s MLS. Though the American league has shifted away from being something of a retirement home for ageing stars in recent years, David Beckham’s Inter Miami are reportedly keen.

With Barcelona seemingly off the table, it seems that either Saudi or Major League Soccer await.

Barcelona 4/6

Any Saudi Pro League team 2/1

Not to sign or agree a contract with any other club 3/1

Inter Miami 9/1

Manchester City 16/1

Newell’s Old Boys 20/1

Chelsea 20/1

Newcastle, Manchester United 25/1

Bayern Munich 33/1

Wrexham 250/1

View publisher imprint