Lionel Messi ‘has NOT made contact with Manchester City or PSG about a summer move and the Barcelona star is waiting until the end of the season to decide his next move’ with just five months left on his Nou Camp deal
- Lionel Messi has distanced himself from a move to City or PSG, reports claim
- He has not held talks with any club and will delay his decision until this summer
- The Argentine has just five months left on his current contract at Barcelona
- He came close to leaving last summer after handing in a transfer request
Lionel Messi has not been in contact with either Manchester City or PSG about a free transfer this summer, reports claim – and is said to be delaying a decision on his Barcelona future until the end of the season.
Messi has just five months remaining on his current deal at the Nou Camp and had been widely tipped to make an exit from his boyhood club having handed in a transfer request last summer.
The 33-year-old informed the club of his wish to leave by burofax having grown tired of poor results on the pitch and how the club was being run by former president Josep Bartomeu. However, according to Goal, the superstar has made no immediate decision about whether he will extend his deal.
Lionel Messi will delay his decision on his Barcelona future until the summer, reports claim
The Argentine has not held talks with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola (L) or PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino (R)
With a player of Messi’s calibre coming to the end of his contract, there will be no shortage of top clubs looking to snap him up this summer, but the report claims that links to PSG were ‘premature’ and the player has not spoken to anyone at the club – including manager Mauricio Pochettino.
There have also been no discussions with his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City – despite the Etihad outfit looking nailed on favourites to seal his signature last summer.
A move to the blue side of Manchester would also see him link up with close friend Sergio Aguero. The pair have roomed together for the Argentina side since they were both teenagers.
But there would also be the allure of playing for his fellow countryman Pochettino at PSG, where he would line up alongside a team of superstars such as Kylian Mbappe and his former Barcelona team-mate Neymar.
Lionel Messi has been tipped to leave Barca this summer after handing in a transfer request last summer
A summer move to the Etihad would reunite Messi with his former boss Pep Guardiola
He could also link up with his fellow Argentine Pochettino at PSG and join a team of superstars
MESSI’S MASSIVE CONTRACT – THE BIG NUMBERS
£491,732,285 – signed in 2016, it is the biggest contract in sporting history
£122m – earns every season in guaranteed gross salary
£102m – takes home for renewing his contract in 2017
£69m – picked up a ‘loyalty bonus’ for staying at the Nou Camp
£3.1m – if Barcelona wins the Champions League
£1.75m – what he receives for playing 60 per cent of Barcelona’s games
£452m – amount he’s already earned from the contract with five months left
The forward – who is able to speak to other clubs about a possible transfer – is in no rush to decide on his next move, the report adds – saying he is ‘tired’ of constant speculation around his future.
It also claims that Messi will speak out about his final decision at the end of the current 2020-21 campaign. Barcelona are facing a huge battle to reclaim LaLiga with Atletico Madrid currently 10 points ahead in the table.
Few clubs in world football have the financial might to satisfy Messi’s lucrative wage demands – a recent leak revealed that the combination of his fixed salary, image rights, variables and tax amounts to €555,237,619 (£492m).
The report also broke down some of the bonuses awarded to Messi since the 2017-18 campaign.
As a part of his current deal, Messi earned an extra £616,172 (€695,748) for winning FIFA’s Best Player award during the 2018-19 campaign.
The Argentine is also guaranteed a whopping £3.1m (€3.5m) if Barcelona win the Champions League – something the club hasn’t achieved since 2015.
Other variables include Messi banking another £1.75m (€1.9m) if he plays 60 per cent of games while he will receive extra payments each knockout stage of the Champions League he reached, as well as winning LaLiga and the Copa del Rey.
Messi is said to been left furious after the leak and is reportedly ready to sue five Barcelona insiders he feels may be responsible. After the release of the confidential information on the front page of El Mundo, the player and his team are now looking into legal action – according to Catalan radio show RAC1.
The report claims the five men in question are Bartomeu; former vice-president, Jordi Mestre; CEO Oscar Grau; interim president, Carles Tusquets; and the head of the club’s legal services, Roman Gomez Ponti.
Spanish paper El Mundo revealed Messi’s £492m salary, outlining Barcelona’s financial woes
Barca boss Ronald Koeman has come out in support of Messi and called for anyone involved at the club to be sacked.
‘What has come out is intended to damage him. Messi deserves respect,’ he said.
‘He has done so much for Spanish football. There are people out to hurt Barcelona and Messi.
‘If it turns out to be someone on the inside then that is very bad and they should have no future at the club.’
Ronald Koeman (right) has come out in defence of Messi after the leak as he awaits his decision on his Barcelona future
The upcoming presidential elections in March could prove pivotal in convincing Messi to stay
Barcelona are set to hold presidential elections next month, which should only add to the uncertainty over his future – but should the club elect an official who Messi trusts, it could prove pivotal in his decision making.
Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa or Victor Font will be chosen as Bartomeu’s successor in March, but Messi has not held talks with any of them – and plans to stay neutral, the report by Goal says.
Messi – who has been with Barcelona since the age of 13 – is the club’s top scorer in their history with 650 goals and has been pivotal in their period of European dominance over the last two decades. He has won the Champions League four times and 10 LaLiga titles.
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