Although Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain are still talking about a possible renewal of his contract, the Argentine star could start against Rennes, on Sunday in the 28th round of Ligue 1, the final stretch of his matches at the Parc de the princes.
"It’s too soon to know what will happen"answers the PSG coach, Christophe Galtier, when asked about Messi.
The technician knows that "Leo, the sports management and the president talk a lot"but he says he does not know their content in detail.
Messi is playing his second season with the Paris club and is doing better than the first. For Galtier, his performance is a success, "with 18 goals and 17 assists"but a sector of the fans and the press is not happy with what they consider a propensity to play on foot.
And although the Argentine has saved the team in several games, he has not been able to avoid a new shipwreck in the Champions League, where PSG sank last week in the round of 16 in Munich.
"I saw some criticism about his game against Bayern Munich (2-0 defeat and PSG elimination), but he was not the only one. Very often he has been decisive this season"Galtier insists.
"He is important in the locker room because of his behavior, at his age (he will be 36 in June) he trains every day and is happy making his teammates play"point.
Financial fair play
Negotiations for the renewal take place discreetly: "We can only renew you at a price in accordance with financial fair play", underlines a source from the club’s management. Messi would be receiving about 30 million euros (32 million dollars) per season.
Paris Saint-Germain could be tempted to build a squad entirely around Kylian Mbappé, their other superstar and much younger (24 years old), which would break the current formula of the ‘MNM’ (Messi-Neymar-Mbappé) trident.
Neymar has a contract until 2027, but if the Brazilian leaves, PSG could choose to keep Messi for one more season. ‘Ney’, operated on his right ankle and currently out, seems to want to continue.
Popular pressure should not have weight in the final decision, despite criticism on social networks about Messi’s involvement.
"There is no reason to whistle our players. They have given everything in the competition. We have not been eliminated by anyone, but by a Bayern Munich who arrived in better shape than us"Galtier said.
Barca, Saudi Arabia, Miami
Last Saturday, the Parisian ultras cheered on the entire team and did not boo anyone. Messi should not in principle have to listen to whistles against him on Sunday against Rennes.
After that game against the Breton team, Messi would have at least five games left in the Parc des Princes (Lyon, Lens, Lorient, Ajaccio, Clermont), until the last day of Ligue 1 on June 3.
The star’s father, Jorge Messi, who also manages his son’s career, has been seen in Saudi Arabia and Barcelona, fueling speculation.
Will the captain of world champion Argentina return to Barça, the club where he developed almost his entire career and which he left in 2021 for Paris? Or could he follow the lead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been his perfect antagonist for years and years?
The Portuguese player joined Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia in the middle of this season, with a lucrative contract.
In the European Champions League, CR7 has the record with 140 goals and Messi is with 129. The prospect of that record could encourage him to continue for at least another year or two in the European elite.
Another open path seems to be David Beckham’s Inter Miami, which is trying to attract the Argentine, who has made no secret of his desire to reside in Florida at some point in the past.
What will Messi do? "Knowing if Leo will be here next season depends on the will of one and the other (…) Leo is happy in the dressing room"underlines Galtier, without clearing up the unknown.