Lionel Messi: Argentina forward to leave Paris St-Germain this summer
Lionel Messi will leave Paris St-Germain this summer at the end of his current contract.
The Argentine World Cup winner had reached an ‘agreement in principle’ to extend his stay for another year but neither club nor player now want to sign the deal.
Messi is unconvinced the club can compete at the top of the European game, due to financial issues, while the French champions want to focus on developing young talent.
He signed a two-year deal in Paris in 2021 with an option to renew for another year but that will now not be activated.
It is understood his father Jorge Messi informed Paris St-Germain’s football advisor Luis Campos a few weeks ago.
The player believes PSG’s budget could be limited next season to comply with Financial Fair Play rules – putting the quality of their squad at risk.
His reluctance to commit to a new deal in recent months has frustrated PSG’s Qatari owners, who believe Messi’s lack of response was a clear message he didn’t want to stay
The 35-year-old was suspended by PSG for two weeks on Tuesday after travelling to Saudi Arabia without the club’s permission.
Barcelona and Messi would be keen on securing a dream return for the forward to the Nou Camp but, with the La Liga leaders facing severe financial difficulties, a move back ‘home’ looks increasingly unlikely.
He also has interest from Inter Miami in Major League Soccer and an eyewatering offer of about 400m euros (£354m) to play in Saudi Arabia for a year.
Messi though believes he can still compete at the top of European football for another season – eyeing the chance to win a fifth Champions League trophy – but, with a move to Barcelona looking impossible, his options are looking increasingly limited.
Messi has scored 31 goals and contributed 34 assists in 71 games in all competitions for PSG, and won the Ligue 1 title last season.
He is set to miss matches against Troyes and Ajaccio as PSG, five points clear with five games to go, look to clinch a ninth league title in 11 seasons.
Messi, Barcelona’s all-time top scorer with 672 goals in 778 games, left the Nou Camp in 2021 because of financial issues at the club,.
He is favourite to win an eighth Ballon d’Or in October, which is three more than any other player, after winning the World Cup with Argentina in December.