The End of an Era: How Lionel Messi’s Departure Will Impact PSG and Soccer as a Whole

Lionel Messi ‘is set to WALK OUT on PSG this summer’, despite agreeing he would stay during the World Cup, with his family wanting return to Barcelona and the club needing him to take a 25% pay-cut on his £25.6m-per-year deal

Lionel Messi is poised to change his mind and quit Paris Saint-Germain this summer, according to reports in France.

The superstar’s contract runs out at the end of the season, with the French giants able to offer him an additional year.

During the World Cup in Qatar last winter – where Messi, 35, led Argentina to glory – his father Jorge indicated to PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi that Lionel had agreed to stay.

But now, according to French outlet L’Equipe, Messi and the club are ‘close to divorce’, with the veteran set to walk out when the campaign ends after negotiations in recent weeks saw both parties actually move further apart.

The player’s family want to return to Barcelona, where he spent his entire career before moving to Paris in 2021.

Lionel Messi (pictured) is set to change his mind and quit Paris Saint-Germain this summer
Messi's father Jorge had indicated to PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (left) during the World Cup in Qatar that his son was willing to stay for another season
The superstar forward's family (pictured above) want to return to Barcelona in Spain

PSG need Messi to take a 25 per cent pay cut on his hugely lucrative £25.6million-a-year contract due to their issues complying with Financial Fair Play.

Messi also reportedly wants guarantees on the manager and players targeted by the club this summer, with PSG as yet unable to assuage his concerns.

Uncertainty over his future has led fans of the club to air their frustrations, with home supporters at the Parc des Princes booing him after their home defeat against Lyon.

Boss Christophe Galtier labelled their response ‘very harsh’ and insisted he ‘gives a lot’ after recording 17 goals and 17 assists this season. But the booing is believed to have made an impact on Al-Khelaifi, who could be more willing to let him go.

Messi’s former club Barcelona are said to be ‘launching an offensive’ to convince the diminutive star to return to the Nou Camp as a free agent.

Former Barca forward Thierry Henry admitted he wants Messi to return to Catalonia, and it would provide the player with Champions League football, which he would not get at MLS side Inter Miami or in Saudi Arabia.

He added that PSG fans’ boos ‘won’t help’ to keep the gifted forward in France.

If Messi stays, conclude L’Equipe, it will be on the club’s terms – though neither party seems willing to budge on their negotiating stance.


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