As the future of Lionel Messi continues to dominate the headlines, Lluis Mascaro of SPORT writes that despite the rumours of a potential return to Barcelona, the Argentine only has a concrete offer from PSG at this point.
Messi’s contract with Les Parisiens expires at the end of the ongoing campaign, prompting relentless speculations over his next move. Talks of a renewal with PSG had been rife, but things have seemingly changed in recent weeks, with reports suggesting that he is prioritising a return to Barça.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has spoken openly about the former club captain and a possible return in the summer. Several players from the team, as well as manager Xavi Hernandez, have voiced their opinion on the same and it has been unanimous – they want Messi back.
However, Barça are yet to present a concrete contract proposal to their former captain. The Argentine has also been linked with moves to Saudi Arabia and the MLS, but no clubs from those leagues have also presented him with an offer.
As things stand, the only proposal that the seven-time Ballon d’Or has is from PSG and he is currently studying it. As for Barcelona, while Laporta might dream of bringing Messi back, a lot will depend on how the club deal with their Financial Fair Play problems.
Meanwhile, Albert Masnou of SPORT has shed light on the interesting and unique approach that the MLS is planning for Messi.
The US-based league is keen on signing the seven-time Ballon d’Or to boost the competition’s profile ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2026, for which they will be joint hosts. Inter Miami have been pushing hard to sign up the Argentina captain, but cannot go ahead with the operation.
Given that there are salary cap rules in place in the MLS, a single club cannot afford to pay Messi’s entire salary. As per the report, the normal wage for a player in the league is around €3 million per season while a franchise player earns close to €6 million per season.
Hence, in a recent meeting involving all club representatives, they decided on a novel approach that would see all MLS clubs pay a part of Messi’s salary and the player would decide which team to play for, be it in Miami, Los Angeles, or New York.
The rationale behind such a decision was that the commercial value of the MLS would skyrocket with Messi in the competition.
And even though some clubs will be paying a part of the salary of a player they do not have in their squad, the increase in the sale of TV rights and subsequent revenue would more than make up for it.
However, Messi, who has been tight-lipped on his future, is keen on staying in Europe for at least one more year to compete at the highest level. That leaves either PSG or Barcelona as his next destination.