The World Cup-winning Argentine player had initially agreed in principle to extend his contract for an additional year, but both the club and the player have now decided against signing the deal.
Messi has expressed doubts about the club’s ability to compete at the highest level in European football due to financial challenges, while the French champions are more interested in nurturing young talent and focusing on their development.
Back in 2021, Messi had signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), which included an option for an additional year. However, it has been confirmed that this option will not be exercised.
Jorge Messi, the player’s father, reportedly informed Luis Campos, PSG’s football advisor, of this decision a few weeks ago.
Why is this turmoil in relation happening?
Lionel Messi was potentially facing disciplinary consequences from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) including a suspension due to an unauthorized trip he took to Saudi Arabia recently
According to reports, Messi’s trip without the club’s permission could have resulted in a two-week suspension, which could cause him to miss PSG’s upcoming games. This situation arises at a crucial time as PSG aims to extend Messi’s contract beyond the current season. The reports of the suspension were initially mentioned by French media outlets L’Equipe and RMC Sport on Tuesday, without disclosing their sources.
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An informed source confirmed to the Associated Press (AP) that PSG had indeed denied Messi’s request to travel to Saudi Arabia. The reason for Messi’s visit was related to a commercial contract he had regarding promoting tourism in the country.
During the suspension period, the World Cup champion would not have been permitted to participate in training sessions or matches with the team. Furthermore, he would not have received his regular salary during this time, as stated by the AP’s source.
News of Messi’s trip to Saudi Arabia emerged following PSG‘s unexpected 3-1 loss to Lorient on Sunday, which left the defending champions with a five-point lead over Marseille and only five games remaining in the season. Despite the defeat, Messi played the full game.
According to a club insider, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, was expected to face a potential two-week suspension, with the source underscoring the principle that “no individual is above the club,” as reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency.
Messi’s Absence from Training Sparks Speculation
Messi, who will celebrate his 36th birthday in June, participated in PSG’s 3-1 home defeat against Lorient in Ligue 1 on Sunday, according to AFP. Subsequently, he travelled to Saudi Arabia to fulfil obligations under a contract with the country’s tourist office.
Consequently, Messi was absent from a scheduled training session on Monday after the weekend loss, and the PSG squad was granted a day off on Tuesday.
According to the source, Messi would also not participate in Wednesday’s training session.
As per the report from L’Equipe, PSG coach Christophe Galtier had pledged to grant his players two days off, Monday and Tuesday, as a reward for a victory over Lorient. However, the team deviated from the initial plan and trained on Monday, while Tuesday was designated as the day off instead.
Messi joined PSG from Barcelona two years ago with the hope of leading the team to a coveted Champions League title. However, PSG suffered elimination in the round of 16 in consecutive seasons.
Amidst reports of failed contract negotiations between Messi and PSG, speculation has arisen regarding his next potential club. During PSG’s inconsistent season, there were reports of some fans booing Messi too.
How is the situation becoming more complex?
The situation has reportedly caused tension within the PSG dressing room, with some players expressing their dissatisfaction over the incidence.
Initial reports indicated that an agreement in principle had been reached between PSG and Messi before the World Cup, with intentions for him to sign a new contract in Paris. However, circumstances have changed since then.
Following the incident, a considerable number of PSG fans assembled outside the club’s Parisian headquarters to voice their dissatisfaction towards Lionel Messi, alongside his teammate Neymar and club president Nasser al-Khelaifi. Additionally, a small faction of supporters staged a protest outside Neymar’s residence, calling for his departure from the club.Top of Form
PSG issued a statement condemning the actions of the individuals involved, describing them as intolerable and insulting. The club emphasised its full support for its players, staff, and all those targeted by such behaviour.
Within PSG, doubts have emerged about Messi’s ability to replicate his exceptional performances from the World Cup in big Champions League matches. Sources have revealed that there is interest in Messi from Saudi Arabia, as well as his former club Barcelona and Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami.
Where is Messi going to join next?
Both Barcelona and Lionel Messi are interested in a potential reunion at the Nou Camp. However, Barcelona’s significant financial struggles make a return for Messi increasingly unlikely.
Aside from Barcelona, Messi has received interest from Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami, as well as a lucrative offer of approximately 400 million euros (£354 million) to play for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia for one year.
Despite the challenges, Messi believes he still has the ability to compete at the highest level in European football for another season, with the desire to win a fifth Champions League trophy. However, given the unlikelihood of a move back to Barcelona, his options are becoming more limited.
During his time at PSG, Messi has been highly productive, scoring 31 goals and providing 34 assists in 71 appearances across all competitions. He secured the Ligue 1 title with the team last season. Unfortunately, he is expected to miss upcoming matches against Troyes and Ajaccio as PSG aims to secure their ninth league title in 11 seasons, holding a five-point lead with five games remaining.
Having scored 672 goals in 778 games, Messi remains Barcelona’s all-time leading goal scorer. He departed from the club in 2021 due to financial difficulties they were facing.
Messi is considered the frontrunner to win his eighth Ballon d’Or award in October, which would be three more than any other player. This recognition follows his triumph with the Argentine national team in winning the World Cup in December.