Messi to make final PSG Appearance
Lionel Messi will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday. PSG head coach Christophe Galtier confirmed that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will leave the French Champions when his contract runs out at the end of June. Galtier took the opportunity to praise Messi and expressed gratitude for having had the chance to coach one of the best players in history.
Messi joined the Ligue 1 club in summer 2021 after a La Liga salary cap reduction of €200m forced him out of FC Barcelona, who he had been with for 18 years. Since then, he has won two Ligue 1 titles for PSG in just two years. After inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory in December it was thought that Messi might extend his stay in the French Capital.
However, the club’s failure to make an impact at the business end of the Champions League has bred dissatisfaction among the fan base. And despite performing well this season Messi has come in for criticism. Furthermore, Messi was suspended by PSG after taking a trip to Saudi Arabia without the club’s permission. Therefore, his exit has been rumoured for weeks.
The question now is what next for the man many people describe as the GOAT?
Will Messi return to Barça?
A return to his beloved FC Barcelona, a city he called home for 18 years, would be the fairytale ending to Messi’s glittering career, and it can’t be ruled out.
All things being equal, it is thought that this would be Messi’s preferred destination and Barcelona president Joan Laporta and boss Xavi Hernandez have both indicated that this is what the club would like.
However, it is still to be confirmed whether this could happen, given the financial situation at Barcelona over the past few years.
Will Messi go to Saudi Arabia?
Messi was reportedly suspended by PSG for taking a trip to Saudi Arabia without permission. He is already working as a Saudi Tourism ambassador and a lucrative contract to join a club in the developing Saudi Arabia Pro-League could be a possibility. His great rival Cristiano Ronaldo has been playing there since January, while current Real Madrid star Karim Benzema is reportedly set to move there too.
Will Messi go to Inter Miami?
Back in November it was reported that Messi was “close to agreeing to a deal” with Inter Miami to play in the MLS. However, sources at the time claimed that he was not going to agree to a contract while he was focussing on the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Argentina’s triumph and Messi’s performances possibly convinced him to put a move to the States on the backburner to focus on more European glory.
However, Messi has previously expressed an interest in playing in the MLS so this remains possible.
Will Messi go to the Premier League?
Given its current financial power, there has also been some speculation of a possible move to the English Premier League with Manchester City.
The Premier League champions could offer a competitive package and reuniting with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola – who managed Messi during his peak years at the club – mean that this is a rumour that will not go away.
In addition, given his work as a tourism ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Newcastle United have been mentioned. However, the Magpies have only just returned to the Champions League and, in terms of wage structure and financial fair play rules, are probably too early in their journey under their Saudi ownership to attract the likes of Messi. Furthermore Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has implemented a relentless high pressing style which may have suited Messi in his twenties but is unlikely to now.
Will Messi return to his roots?
There is also the option to return home to Argentina, with his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys. Messi has expressed a love for his first club in the past and if he wanted to move to his homeland, this would be a possibility.
Messi: Nothing to Prove
Obviously wherever Messi moves there will be a huge amount of interest. However, the bottom line is that he has won virtually everything the game has to offer and has nothing to prove.
Lionel Messi next club: Latest Odds
The confirmation of Messi’s exit from PSG has obviously captured the imagination of sports bettors. The latest odds on his next club are as follows:
Barcelona 10/11 Bet365
Al Hilal Riyadh 10/11 Bet365
Any Saudi Arabia club 1/1 BetVictor
Any Spanish Club 5/4 BetVictor
Inter Miami 4/1 Bet365
Any MLS Club 6/1 BetVictor
Any German Club 16/1 BetVictor
Any South American Club 16/1 BetVictor
Any Dutch Club 33/1 BetVictor
Tottenham 33/1 BetVictor
Man City 40/1 Bet365
Newcastle 40/1 Bet365
Chelsea 80/1 BetVictor
Man Utd 80/1 Bet365
Odds correct as of 01.06.23, 15:00. Odds subject to change
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