Lionel Messi has complete freedom to choose his next club. The Argentine has been a free agent for several weeks now, but the breakdown in his talks with Barcelona now, for the first time, mean that he will wear another club’s shirt next season.
His options will be limited, though, as clubs cannot afford to meet his salary demands with much ease. But, from the moment that MARCA exclusively revealed that he would leave the club this Thursday, all eyes turned to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
A shock move to Major League Soccer is still a possibility, but it is thought that Messi wants to continue playing at the highest level for another while yet.
As things stand, Man City are the favourites to sign him, but they have just spent big on Jack Grealish and had been interested in Tottenham’s Harry Kane as well, while also knowing that a move for Messi isn’t financially easy to pull off.
How PSG see the situation
The French side had looked to be the most likely destination for Messi when his relationship with Barcelona was at its worst, but PSG pulled away when they realised he was nearing a renewal. Now, their focus is on renewing Kylian Mbappe’s contract, and nobody expected this latest bombshell.
Not everything is perfect in Paris, either. L’Equipe revealed that PSG will report a deficit of over 200 million euros, having had a deficit of 120 million euros last season. Now, they have to sell players.
Another issue in France are taxes. A 30 million euro salary for Messi would mean that the club would have to spend 70 million euros annually on him.
City’s interest is reactivated
Another club that had been linked with Messi are Manchester City. Pep Guardiola had been planning to build his team around Harry Kane and Jack Grealish in attack, but Messi’s exit from the Camp Nou changes everything.
With Kane’s deal far from done, the Premier League champions already look to be changing their plans and turning their attention to Messi. Of course, Guardiola would love to work with the Argentine again.
MLS was supposed to be two years down the line
The option of MLS is still there, and it was even taken into consideration as Messi negotiated with Barcelona. The idea, though, was for Messi to go there after two more years at Barcelona at the very least.
Now, he’s free to go where he wants, but he’s more likely to stay put in Europe for another two or three years before heading across the Atlantic Ocean to wind down his career.