Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Lionel Messi denies PSG and Man City transfer rumors; Barcelona star will appeal to future after season

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Lionel Messi has not made 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 stay at Barcelona or leave, Goal can exclusively reveal.

Messi’s contract expires this summer and he has been linked with several top European clubs, including the Ligue 1 champions and Premier League leaders.

However, talking about talks with PSG is premature, as Messi has not had contact with the French club, and has not spoken to any player or to new manager Mauricio Pochettino. There has also been no contact with Man City – managed by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola – or other potential suitors.

Instead, Messi is waiting until the end of the season to decide what to do for his future and whether he wants to extend his contract with Barcelona, ​​where he has spent his entire professional career.

Goal understands Messi is tired of the constant media speculation and says it will be he who speaks at the end of the season to declare where he will play in the 2021-22 campaign, and no one else.

He is currently free to talk to non-Spanish clubs, with his contract expiring this summer – players without a contract at the end of the season can talk to foreign teams from January 1 – but Messi chooses not to.

Messi has been at the center of speculation since last summer when he tried to secure his release from his Barcelona contract by activating a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to withdraw freely.

However, he did not activate this clause in time and after weeks of rumors, Messi finally revealed exclusively to Goal that he would stay with Barcelona for the 2020-21 season.

Further uncertainty has been sparked by Barcelona’s presidential elections, following 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 not contacted any of them, intends to remain neutral in the election and that this will have no impact on the choice to stay in Barcelona.

Messi’s contractual situation has recently come back to the fore after Spain’s El Mundo newspaper published details of his € 555million (£ 491million / $ 674million) contract.

The report says the four-year deal, signed by the Argentinian in 2017, includes fixed income and bonuses that amount to € 138m (£ 112m / $ 167m) in revenue annual.

Messi has already pocketed € 510m (£ 452m / $ 619m), with an additional € 45m (£ 40m / $ 55m) expected to arrive over the next six month, El Mundo claiming that the 33-year-old is the highest paid athlete in the history of professional sport.

Barcelona have announced plans to take legal action over the leak, and Goal understands Messi’s side are looking to take legal action, but no case has yet been officially filed.


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