Lionel Messi leaning toward returning to Barcelona
Out of contract in June 2023, PSG forward and Argentine world champion Lionel Messi has the decision to make regarding his future that might generate massive aftermath.
If we believe the latest reports coming out of France and the newspaper L'Equipe in particular, then Messi would be leaning toward leaving France than staying in Paris. That, says L'Equipe, is "a desire now shared by all parties."
This marks a plot twist after the most recent (serious) reports speaking about a pre-agreement signed between Messi and PSG back in December and after the World Cup. However, things have turned sour since Messi returned to Paris after lifting the World Cup with Argentina.
On top of PSG's mediocre results on the pitch (getting eliminated from the Coupe de France and the Champions League and suffering eight defeats in 2023 alone), Messi wants to have assurances about the future of Paris Saint-Germain's project. PSG, on the other hand, want Messi to lower his wage demands and the conditions he's seemingly imposing for an extension.
According to L'Equipe and RMC Sport, PSG are thinking about "removing a member from the MNM for next season," and both outlets agree on that particular person: Lionel Messi.
Doha and Barcelona, poised to fight for the rights of signing Lionel Messi next summer
RMC reported that "only one small possibility remains" for Messi to stay in Paris beyond next June, and that'd be "Doha intervening directly in this process and demanding an extension."
Foot Mercato reported on Tuesday evening that Lionel Messi "would indeed be heading for a departure," with the Argentine forward having set his "future priority" around a return to his former team Barcelona.
According to Foot Mercato, both "the player and his family" want a return to Catalonia and that's the priority for them ahead of next season. Of course, Barcelona would need to find a way to come up with a financial package good enough to make this return possible, although it's not crazy to think Messi might sign a "hometown discount" type of deal to facilitate the move.
This saga is far from ending and there are still more than two months left in Messi's deal with PSG, so embrace the daily rumors and enjoy them for what they are: a bunch of smoke curtains and empty-calorie stories.