Where could Messi go if he leaves PSG – Barcelona, Saudi Arabia, Miami?

Lionel Messi’s sojourn in the French capital appears to be coming to an end with the Argentina captain set to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

After almost two years, the love affair is well and truly over in a relationship which never seemed to be an ideal fit in the first place.

An unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia and the subsequent two-week suspension handed to Messi looks to be the final nail in coffin and ends this unhappy union between club and player.

His forced departure from Barcelona and subsequent move to PSG was reminiscent of a jilted lover looking for a rebound romance that was doomed to fail from the start.

The 35-year-old’s next move is likely to be the swansong in an incredible career that arguably peaked with his glorious World Cup triumph in Qatar.

We spoke with two of our European colleagues about where Messi could go next, to assess his most likely next destination.

A return to Barcelona?

It would be the mother of all Hollywood storylines should Messi return to Catalonia – but we shouldn’t get our hopes up, according to Enrique Sanchez of Eurosport Spain.

While this would be his preferred option, Sanchez believes Barcelona’s desperate financial state and Messi’s tattered relationship with club president Joan Laporta would be huge barriers to a potential deal.

“Right now, not high chances [of a return to Barcelona],” he explained.

“Barcelona should put their finances in order first, and some media outlets are even saying that Laporta should personally apologise to Messi after leaving the club in the first place.

‘I don’t understand’ – Xavi plays down Messi return as he focuses on title hunt

“He would be happy returning to Barcelona, but he will surely have better offers from Saudi Arabia, Major League Soccer or even the Premier League.”

Any move back to Spain for Messi would involve a huge overhaul of the squad, but the club will still try to make the deal work after informing La Liga of their intention to re-sign the Argentina captain.

“They would also have to offer a low salary to Messi, and there has already been a meeting with La Liga to discuss how the operation could be done,” Sanchez added.

“The only way to make it happen is to sell players for huge amounts of money and reduce the current player salaries.”

What is the view from France?

He may be a god-like figure in his native Argentina and among Barcelona fans, but that certainly isn’t the sentiment across the English Channel.

Cyril Morin of Eurosport France believes the damage had been done long before Messi’s jaunt to the Middle East, and explained the writing was on the wall after the World Cup.

“I’m not sure it [the Saudi trip] plays a huge role to be honest,” said Morin.

“Messi’s future was already a hot topic without this trip. His behaviour during games, like walking around and showing no intensity in his work off the ball, drew plenty of criticism in the past two seasons.

Lionel Messi

Image credit: Getty Images

“The fans believe he has been far less involved in the play than at Barcelona, and I don’t really understand what he is doing here.

“His contract renewal was supposed to be sealed during the World Cup following a verbal agreement with Jorge Messi [Lionel’s father and agent]. But since then, there was a big difficulty for PSG and Messi’s entourage to find a real agreement, mostly on the salary.

“So, in these last weeks, the feeling was more about the end of the road for Messi in PSG. This trip to Saudi Arabia just confirms it, there is no turning back now.”

How about Saudi Arabia?

Ronaldo scores in Al-Nassr’s 4-0 win against Al-Raed in the Saudi Pro League

He’s already been there once, and in a financial sense it appears to be the most likely next move for Messi.

The prospect of going head-to-head with long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo will have the Saudis salivating, and Thursday’s edition of the paper round discusses a record-breaking contract for Messi to play in the Saudi Pro League and become the highest-paid footballer in history.

The Telegraph claims that talks are underway for an astonishing $400 million (£320m) per year deal that would smash Ronaldo’s £165m-a-year contract with Al-Nassr. Al-Nassr’s rivals, Al-Hilal would be the most likely Saudi destination in a bid to recreate the famous Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry which the duo shared in Spain.

Party in the city where the heat is on?

David Beckham’s club Inter Miami have also been linked with Lionel Messi.

Image credit: Getty Images

For those unfamiliar with Will Smith’s discography, this is in relation to his 90s dance classic, Miami.

David Beckham has wanted to bring Messi to his Inter Miami side for a long time and they are quietly hopeful that it could happen this summer.

The Athletic reports that Jorge and Jose Mas – the brothers that co-own the club with Beckham, have had several meetings with Messi’s father Jorge over a possible move to Florida.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has a home in Miami, and MLS commissioner Don Garber told the publication that they are willing to try and find an appropriate compensation package to complete a deal.

Only time will tell where Messi ends up, but if money talks then Saudi Arabia appears to be Messi’s next destination.

But those romantics among us will still harbour hopes of Michael Jordan-style last dance at Barcelona. We’ll have to wait and see.

Ligue 1

Messi to leave PSG at end of season following suspension – reports


Ligue 1

Is Messi suspension a ‘turning point’ for PSG – and what comes next? – Inside Europe



Spread the love

Similar Posts