Lionel Messi denies PSG, Man City transfer rumors; Barcelona star will make call on future after season
Lionel Messi has made no contact with anyone from Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City or any other club, amid rumors surrounding his future, and is waiting until the end of the season to decide whether to remain with Barcelona or depart, Goal can exclusively reveal.
Messi’s contract expires in the summer and he has been linked with several leading European clubs, including the Ligue 1 champions and Premier League leaders.
However, talk of any discussions with PSG is premature, as Messi has not had contact with the French club, and has not spoken to any players nor new manager Mauricio Pochettino. There has also been no contact with Man City — managed by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola — or any other prospective suitors.Instead, Messi is waiting until the end of the season to decide what to do about his future, and whether to extend his contract with Barcelona, where he has spent his entire professional career.Goal understands that Messi is tired of the constant media speculation, and says that it will be he who speaks out at the end of the season to declare where he will be playing in the 2021-22 campaign, and nobody else.He is currently free to speak to non-Spanish clubs, with his contract expiring this summer — players out of contract at the end of the season can speak to foreign teams from Jan. 1 onward — but Messi is choosing not to.Messi has been the center of speculation ever since last summer, when he attempted to secure his release from his contract at Barcelona by activating a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to walk away free.However, he did not activate this clause in time and after weeks of rumors, Messi eventually revealed exclusively to Goal that he would stay with Barcelona for the 2020-21 season.Further uncertainty has been brought about by the Barcelona presidential elections, after the resignation of Josep Bartomeu, with whom Messi had endured a strained relationship. Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font are the three candidates, but Goal has learned that Messi has contacted none of them, intends to stay neutral in the election and that it will not have an impact on whether he chooses to stay at Barcelona.Messi’s contract situation recently returned to the fore after Spanish newspaper El Mundo published details about his €555 million (£491 million/$674 million) contract.
The report states that the four-year agreement, which the Argentine signed in 2017, includes fixed incomes and bonus payments which amount to €138 million (£112 million/$167 million) in annual earnings.Messi has already pocketed €510 million (£452 million/$619 million), with a further €45 million (£40 million/$55 million) set to come his way over the next six months, with El Mundo claiming that the 33-year-old is the best-paid athlete in the history of professional sport.Barcelona announced its intention to take legal action over the leak, and Goal understands that Messi’s team is looking at whether to sue, but no case has yet been officially filed.