Messi’s first preference is to renew at PSG, a return to Barcelona very complicated
Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot written about Lionel Messi and his immediate future in club football as he nears the expiry of his contract with PSG. Things further picked up steam following Les Parisiens’ elimination from the UEFA Champions League.
Barcelona have positioned themselves as a possible suitor for their former captain should he decide to leave as a free agent in the summer transfer window.
However, contradicting reports continue to emerge on Messi’s future. Only yesterday, it was suggested that the 35-year-old was not looking to renew with PSG and he and his family preferred a return to Barcelona.
Now, though, Roger Torello and Fernando Polo of Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Messi’s first preference at this point is to renew with PSG despite their latest setback in European competitions.
At 35, Messi believes that he still has the quality required to compete at the highest level and has no desire to join any minor leagues.
So, as of now, a move to MLS club Inter Miami or the Saudi Arabian Pro League or his boyhood team Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina is very much off the table, with the record Ballon d’Or winner keen on staying in Europe.
Barcelona, for their part, continue to dream about re-signing their club legend, with Joan Laporta and Xavi both having been vocal about such a possibility in the past.
But, the Blaugrana have their hands tied because of their Financial Fair Play issues and the lack of salary margin, which would make it nearly impossible for the club to bring Messi back to Spotify Camp Nou.
The problems have grown to such an extent that the Catalan club are yet to register contract renewals of players like Ronald Araujo, while Gavi’s registration is also being challenged by La Liga.
So, even in the scenario that Messi would be willing to reduce his wages drastically to secure a return to Barcelona, there is a feeling that La Liga will not make it easy.
The Argentina captain is said to be comfortable in Paris and with renewal talks likely to continue in the coming weeks, a return to Camp Nou seems unlikely even though some players within the team would like to see him back at the club.
As things stand, a tribute to Messi at Barcelona looks the most likely and the only possibility, with Laporta even confirming that discussions have been held with his father regarding the same.