Lionel Messi will leave PSG when his contract expires at the end of this season.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, informed PSG’s leadership of the decision a month ago, possibly leading to a breakdown in their relationship. Yesterday, the Parisian club suspended Messi for two weeks for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia.
If he does not extend his contract with PSG, Messi could leave on a free transfer when the summer transfer window opens. Barcelona was once seen as a potential destination. However, according to Spanish media, Barca’s plan to restructure its finances and sign Messi during the summer transfer window in 2023 was rejected by La Liga.
There are also rumors that Messi will follow in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps to play in Saudi Arabia. Al Hilal is said to have offered the World Cup 2022 champion a $240 million contract, which is similar to the salary Ronaldo received when he signed with Al Nassr.
Messi joined PSG in 2021 with a free Messi transfer fee with a two-year contract and an option to activate for a third year, with hopes of elevating the team’s performance in the Champions League. Despite scoring 13 goals and providing one assist in 14 games in the competition, he has never met expectations.
Before Messi’s arrival, PSG reached the final in the 2019-2020 season and the semifinals in the 2020-2021 season, but after his arrival, they were eliminated in the round of 16 in two consecutive seasons. As a result, after being knocked out by Bayern Munich this season, Messi is often criticized by the home fans.
The relationship between Messi and the team worsened after their 1-3 defeat to Lorient in Ligue I on April 30. A few hours after the game, the 35-year-old forward flew to Saudi Arabia with his family. The trip had been scheduled in advance for a $30 million per year commercial deal, with Messi serving as a tourism ambassador for the Middle Eastern country.
Many of PSG most expensive signings were supposed to have a day off on May 1st. However, after losing to Lorient on the evening of April 30th, the whole team was called up for training the next day. At that time, Messi had already arrived at the airport in Saudi Arabia and could not return.
PSG’s leadership used this absence to suspend Messi for two weeks. The owner of seven Ballon d’Ors will not be able to train with the team for the next two weeks, and will also be absent from the matches against Troyes on May 7th and Ajaccio on May 13th in Ligue 1.
Messi may return in the last three games, against Auxerre, Strasbourg, and Clermont.
When reporting on Messi’s above punishment, L’Equipe newspaper published on the front page a photo of him in deep thought and PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, along with the headline “La Rupture” (The Breakup).
The reputable French newspaper asserted that the Argentine star’s time in Paris will end this summer. “Regularly criticized for poor discipline, PSG took Messi as an example and sent a message that even the biggest star, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and recently crowned World Cup champion, is not exempt from the rules,” the newspaper wrote, while also stating that PSG’s suspension of Messi has caused a possible “global impact” explosion.
PSG has been eliminated from the Champions League and the French Cup and only has Ligue 1 left to fight for in the remainder of the season.
Keep following Transfer In Football to update the latest football transfer news as well as other interesting rumors in the transfer market!