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Lionel Messi Transfer – A Global Battle for the GOAT

Angelos Anastassopoulos March 30, 2023

There aren’t many footballers for whom there is a valid argument that they are the greatest to ever play the sport. Lionel Messi is among those select few and after winning the World Cup with Argentina, his case has become even stronger. It is often to have transfer rumours about any sport’s GOAT, but this time it seems like that even Messi himself has not decided on his future.

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It seems like there are four possible options for him right now: staying at PSG, returning to Barcelona, moving to the USA and the MLS, or taking the massive contract allegedly offered to him by at least one team in Saudi Arabia. Let’s see all possible cases and the full Lionel Messi transfer odds.

Paris Saint-Germain (1/1)

Reports from France reveal that PSG officials are pessimistic about renewing Lionel Messi’s contract, who turns 37 this summer. The best betting sites, however, present the French giants as the favourites to keep the Argentinian for one more year in Paris, as Messi has a player option to extend his current deal for an extra season.

What perplexes things is that his agents try to get him a better deal, one that equals Kylian Mbappe’s, who is paid £5.3 million monthly. The Parisians are reluctant to hand him that amount of money, in order to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules.

It is unclear if Messi will be willing to stay in PSG for an extra season being paid the… mere £3 million a month of his current contract. People in his circle state that he never felt Paris is his home and the Champions League disappointment has made him sceptical when a few months ago the extension seemed almost certain.

Barcelona (6/4)

While Paris never became Messi’s home, Barcelona certainly is. He loves his boyhood club, the team through which his legend was created. The Catalans cannot afford Messi’s current salary, but Barcelona-based reporter Gerard Romero claims that the 7-time Ballon d’Or winner (backed to win his 8th this season) is willing to take a generous pay cut to return to Northern Spain.

Will a pay cut be enough though? Barcelona must reduce their expenses by nearly £175 million this summer. This is why there are so many Gavi transfer rumours around. This is why adding Messi might be nothing more than a summer night’s dream for Barca fans.

Saudi Pro League (6/1)

Messi’s time-old rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, moved to Saudi Arabia in December, taking a massive £180 million contract a year by Al-Nassr. Could the rivalry be reinstated in the Gulf? Could Saudi Arabia lure two of the greatest players of all time, two of only three men to have scored more than 100 international goals?

This possibility cannot be ruled out. Al-Ittihad seem willing to match Ronaldo’s contract to dress Messi in yellow and black. And don’t forget that Messi has signed a contract with the Saudi Ministry of Tourism, to act as the country’s public ambassador.

Inter Miami (8/1)

David Beckham’s Inter Miami seems like another possible destination for Lionel Messi. Reports from the US state that there is a plan among MLS team owners, in order to increase the league’s revenue and popularity. That plan includes a joint bid, meaning that all 29 clubs will have to chip in to pay Messi’s contract and he will be free to choose the team he wants to play for.

Inter Miami look like the most likely destination, if he chooses to go the MLS route. The team also plan to offer a contract to his old friend and former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets.

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The complete odds list

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