Lionel Messi Leaves PSG After Two Years: Exploring His Options for Future Clubs

At PSG it’s over after two years: Lionel Messi leaves Paris.Bild:

The return to the old love, the offer for hundreds of millions or the leap across the pond? These are Lionel Messi’s options after leaving PSG. What we know about his plans.

02.06.2023, 14:4802.06.2023, 15:36

Nicholas Helbling
Nicholas Helbling

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Lionel Messi has been keeping the football world in suspense for months. With his contract at PSG expiring at the end of June, there has long been speculation as to where the 35-year-old will continue his career. Since yesterday, Thursday, it has been clear that Paris is no longer an option. This leaves three interested parties.

FC Barcelona

It would be the most romantic option: Messi returns to FC Barcelona two years after his tearful farewell. The club he has belonged to since he was 14 and with which he has won title after title. The Argentine scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barça. Of course, the Catalans want to bring their prodigal son back. Neither president Joan Laporta nor coach Xavi leaves the slightest doubt about that.

But Barcelona have a problem. A big one, a financial one. At the end of April, Spanish league president Javier Tebas said that Barcelona are still a long way from signing Messi. This is due to the financial regulations of the league. Despite the departures of Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, the club still exceeds budget by €100m, as «Relief» reported.

FILE - In this May 28, 2011 file photo Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates with the trophy after winning the Champions League final soccer match against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, Lond ...

Lionel Messi has won four Champions League titles with FC Barcelona – he won the third in 2011.Bild: keystone

They will probably have to sell broadcasting rights or shares in subsidiaries again in order to be able to make transfers. Otherwise, the rule still applies that only two-fifths of the income can be used. However, those responsible at Barça are still confident of being able to generate the necessary income. But they have to do this quickly.

Because, as the Spanish online portal also reported, Messi gave FC Barcelona an ultimatum of ten days. So Laporta and Co. have to let him know in the next week whether a commitment would be financially possible. The club is not allowed to make a concrete offer until then, but allegedly there was a verbal offer of 25 million euros for one year. On the other hand, it is clear that Messi wants to return to his old place because he still sees himself at a high level and would like to play at it.


This would not be possible in Saudi Arabia. He would earn huge sums of money there. Nothing has changed in Al-Hilal’s offer. He has had this for weeks, and the club is said to be offering him a salary of around 400 million euros – per year. Particularly Father Jorge Messi was impressed by the offer and would like his son to move to the Middle East, as the Catalan portal “Beteve” writes.

Messi already earns €7.5m a year in his role as ambassador to Saudi Arabia and for this reason had only traveled to the Arabian Peninsula in early May, which resulted in a temporary suspension from PSG. Saudi Arabia would like Messi to support the 2030 World Cup bid. Cristiano Ronaldo, who switched to Al-Hilal’s league competitor Al-Nassr in January, is already doing this. Whether his long-time rival will follow him will depend above all on whether Barcelona can raise the necessary financial means in time.

Inter Miami

However, the Catalans still seem to have an ace up their sleeve. After speculation last November that a move to the US had already been decided, the rumors subsequently died down somewhat. But Inter Miami and especially co-owner David Beckham continue to vie for the seven-time world footballer. Now there should have been a concrete offer, like «Sport» reported. This would bring Messi a total of €200m over four years.

Even before his move to PSG, there were talks between Messi and the MLS club. At the time, the 2022 world champion already owned an apartment in the Florida metropolis. Miami’s offer should be particularly exciting due to the fact that he could still play for Barça.

MLS, Fussball Herren, USA Toronto FC at Inter Miami CF, Aug 20, 2022 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA Inter Miami CF co-owner David Beckham watches from the sideline prior to the game against Toronto FC  ...

David Beckham wants to guide Messi to Miami.Bild:

According to “L’Équipe”, it is conceivable that Messi would then be immediately loaned to Barcelona for 6 to 18 months after moving to the MLS club. So he would join Inter Miami either next season or in 2025. In the USA, a season lasts from February to December.

This would ensure Messi could continue to play at the highest level until the 2024 Copa America, while also being able to play again for his heart’s club. After that he should also act as ambassador for the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

However, there have not yet been any concrete talks between the two clubs about such a process. But should Barcelona not be able to handle Messi’s salary alone, this should be an exciting option from the point of view of everyone involved.

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