Lionel Messi is set to leave French giants Paris Saint-Germain after two seasons at the club following a rough second season at the Parc des Princes off the pitch. According to Fabrizio Romano, the decision is said to have been communicated by his father Jorge to the club’s hierarchy over a month ago.
Messi, who has been suspended by PSG following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, had been at loggerheads with the club over a contract renewal for months. The superstar forward signed a two-year contract with the club in 2021 and did not sign an extension despite several offers from the club. According to reports emanating from France, he wanted to be clear on the club’s project before committing to an extension.
The decision to suspend Messi for two weeks has been rumoured to be politically motivated because of the Qatar-Saudi relations. It was reported that the club’s president Nasser El-Khelaifi was unhappy that the 35-year-old travelled to Saudi Arabia, a country that Qatar has diplomatic conflicts with. While Messi was in Saudi, veteran defender Sergio Ramos was spotted in Madrid but has faced no such sanction from the club, fuelling speculation that this decision may have been political.
Messi has had offers from several clubs outside of Europe, including David Beckham’s Inter Miami. The forward, however, wishes to continue playing in Europe. He was approached by FC Barcelona, but a deal is said to be difficult at this stage due to numerous financial restrictions imposed by the Spanish La Liga. It remains to be seen which team he joins, but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will not be short of suitors.