Lionel Messi: Possible PSG move discussed by Julien Laurens
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Barcelona’s shock failure to retain the services of legendary forward Lionel Messi has sent plenty of shockwaves booming around the football world. The 34-year-old will be seeking a new club over the coming weeks despite agreeing a deal to stay at the Nou Camp, ending his 21-year association with the Catalan giants in the process.
Messi was expected to sign a new five-year contract with Barcelona on Thursday afternoon in a show of commitment to the club he joined as a 13-year-old back in 2000.
However, the five-time European champions were unable to follow through on the deal as a result of their precarious financial situation.
They blamed La Liga regulations for their inability to re-sign Messi in an official statement, with the forward still unattached ahead of the new season.
It seems unthinkable that he will be out of a job for too long, with his undisputed quality and desire to keep playing into the latter stages of his career suggesting that a move will soon come to fruition.
It remains to be seen which clubs will be able to afford the signing of Messi despite the lack of a transfer fee required.
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Although his planned Barcelona extension would have seen him take up a reduced wage packet, the mercurial Argentine is still likely to command an astronomical salary.
Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be keen on Messi, and the French outfit could be one of the few clubs in world football with the ability to bankroll a move.
They are, of course, backed by the royal family of Qatar and would be able to offer Messi an enticing package if they decide to act on their interest in his services.
A potential move to the MLS with Inter Miami has also been touted, but it seems as though PSG could be his most likely destination.
Aside from a monumental wage, the Ligue 1 heavyweights would also offer Messi the opportunity to reunite with former Barcelona team-mate Neymar and deliver the promise of Champions League football.
However, if the six-time Ballon D’Or winner eventually joins PSG over the coming weeks and months, it could have a significant knock-on effect regarding the career of Kylian Mbappe.
The Frenchman is currently facing an uncertain future in Paris, with his current deal set to expire next summer.
He is undoubtedly PSG’s prized asset and has established himself as a crucial part of their attacking unit alongside Neymar and Angel Di Maria in recent years.
But if the club opt to pursue a move for Messi this summer, they may be inclined to sell Mbappe in order to help foot the bill and abide by Financial Fair Play rules.
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The current transfer window could represent PSG’s final opportunity to cash in on the 22-year-old if he decides against signing a new contract at the Parc des Princes.
As it stands, he will be able to negotiate a free move to a foreign side from January and Real Madrid are known to be keen admirers.
The situation could potentially leave PSG needing to rush through Mbappe’s departure this month to enable an approach for Messi.
The latter was spotted dining with a number of the club’s players earlier this week and a move to the French capital is likely to be among the range of options on his mind.
However, it seems as though Messi could indirectly send Barcelona a parting shot by joining PSG if Mbappe jumps ship to Real Madrid as a result.
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