Lionel Messi is set to decide where his future lies beyond the summer in the coming months. The 35-year-old forward faces an increasingly uncertain future at Paris Saint-Germain, with his contract at Les Parc des Princes set to expire at the end of the season.
He opened the scoring in Argentina’s World Cup clash with Saudi Arabia from 12-yards but failed to impact the tie in open play. Messi’s uninspiring display came as a shock to many after having impressed for the French giants in Ligue 1 this season. The Argentine has featured 12 times for PSG in this term, directly contributing towards 17 goals. His impressive displays had led the Parisians to the top of the table.
But, despite his awe-inspiring performances, the option to extend Messi’s stay in the French capital by a further year is yet to be triggered. If the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner opts against staying at Les Parc des Princes until 2024 then he’ll be eligible to begin pre-contract talks with foreign clubs – like Chelsea – in January regarding a free transfer in June.
He will earn an eye-watering £94.8million in wages should he stay at PSG for three-years, according to French newspaper L’Equipe . It’s said that Messi earned €30million (£25.8m) in 2021/22 and €40million (£34.5m) over the following contracted campaigns. The Argentina captain didn’t receive a signing bonus upon his arrival at PSG, but it’s reported that he will receive a loyalty bonus that would equate to €15million (£12.9m) per-year.
With his future at the French outfit hanging in the balance, The Athletic reported earlier this month that Inter Miami are increasingly confident of signing the talisman. It’s believed that talks with the MLS side have been led by David Beckham’s co-owners Jorge and Jose Mas, but PSG are pushing hard to keep Messi at the club.
However, this could have all been prevented if the Argentine’s move to Stamford Bridge in 2014 hadn’t collapsed . He ‘secretly’ agreed to join Chelsea eight-years ago for £208million, but the move fell through after his dad and agent Jorge Messi found out about the talks between player and club. Sky Sports’ Gianluca Di Marzio revealed that Roman Abramovich reached an informal agreement with Messi over a contract.
The Russian billionaire reportedly agreed to give the forward an annual wage of $65million (£56.3m) plus 70 per cent of image rights. Messi was reportedly keen on penning said deal. However, after his father was made aware of the plans by an intermediary, who was angry he was squeezed out of the negotiations, a deal collapsed. Jose Mourinho began his second stint at Stamford Bridge when these proposed talks occurred in private.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea reignite interest in Messi, though the Blues were thinly- linked upon his dramatic exit from Barcelona. But, after his lacklustre display against Saudi Arabia, Graham Potter may question whether or not to sign the star.