Lionel Messi is ready to commit his future to Paris Saint-Germain, with reports that the World Cup winner has “verbally agreed” to sign a contract extension.
The rumors will deal a heavy blow to former club Barcelona, who have made no secret of their desperation to bring the Argentine maestro back to the Camp Nou.
According to French outlet La ParisienMessi and PSG have reached an agreement in principle on a new contract that will keep the newly crowned world champion in the French capital for another season.
The 35-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the current season, prompting complaints. I could return to Barcelona for free in summer.
A move to Major League Soccer and David Beckham’s Inter Miami team has also been suggested.
But La Parisien, whose information is backed by transfer expert Fabrizio Romanohe claims that he has decided to stay in Paris instead.
Messi experienced a difficult first season in Ligue 1 following his surprise departure from Barcelona and his surprising move to the French top flight, where he managed 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 games, a quiet campaign by Messi’s standards.
But the striker has since settled at the club and he has 12 goals and 14 assists in 19 games at the halfway point of this term, and after leading Argentina to the World Cup in Qatar, you can be sure he’ll be hungry to keep up his excellent form.
‘I would shake his hand’ – Almiron insists he has no problem with Grealish
Insiders have also suggested that Messi’s family have also settled down and are happy with their new lifestyle in Paris, meaning the superstar is in no hurry to leave, even at the prospect of returning to his second home in Barcelona.
It is claimed that a contract extension has been on the table for months and that Messi, his father Jorge and the PSG hierarchy reached an agreement in early December during the World Cup.
Reports claim the deal will be finalized and signed once Messi returns to the club following his post-World Cup break, with the soccer icon still soaking up celebrations in Argentina following Sunday’s final win over France.
Messi spoke about how he loves life in Paris before the World Cup started and said in an interview with Conmebol: “I like Paris much more, I discover the city and I find it magnificent.
“In the first year, there was a big change. Things happened very suddenly, it was not my goal to leave Barcelona and everything was abrupt.
“After this long period and difficult moments, I am happy to live where I live and my family and I are enjoying Paris.
“Today I enjoy everything, including football.”
The figures (Messi currently earns around £700,000 a week) and contract length are said to be yet to be determined, but it is believed it will be a one-year extension to ensure he remains a PSG player by 2023. / 24 season.
Messi’s desire to continue playing among soccer’s elite is also behind his decision to stay.
At PSG, he plays as part of the world’s three most flamboyant strikers in world football alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, is almost certain to add to their domestic trophy cabinet and has the best chance of adding to their crowns of the Champions League.
Messi will be looking to lift the European Cup for the fifth time in his career this season, with PSG facing Bayern Munich in the round of 16.
He has already made Champions League history this season, becoming the first player to score in 18 consecutive seasons in Europe’s top competition.
He is also just 11 goals away from dethroning Cristiano Ronaldo as the all-time top scorer in the competition’s history, and rival GOAT is unlikely to add to that tally any time soon as he searches for a new club after leaving the Manchester United.
Messi will now be the heavy favorites to win an eighth Ballon d’Or after Argentina’s World Cup success, and it is believed that staying where he is and competing at the highest level at PSG will give him the best chance of claiming more praise. rather than rejoin a Barcelona has yet to climb back to the top of the Spanish game.
talkSPORT BET DEAL OF THE DAY
Get up to £25 Free Bets + 25 Free Spins* – CLAIM HERE
18+ new customers only. Sign up, bet up to £25 (minimum £10) on select events at odds of 2.00+, in 7 days. Get up to £25 free bets on select events + 25 free spins on the D10S Maradona slot. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. Terms and conditions apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please play responsibly