Why Barcelona Are No Longer Favourites to Sign Lionel Messi This Summer

Why Barcelona Are No Longer Favourites to Sign Lionel Messi This Summer

Chukwu Ikechukwu
June 2, 2023 at 8:47 AM
  • Barcelona are no longer in the lead to sign veteran Lionel Messi in the summer transfer window
  • Messi will be in search of a new club when he exits Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season
  • Barcelona and Al-Hilal are said to be the key contenders for Messi’s signature this summer

Barcelona are losing ground in their quest to re-sign Lionel Messi this summer, owing to the club’s inability to match Al-Hilal’s tempting offer for the Argentine superstar.

Messi is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, and the Saudi Arabian club have tabled a whopping €500 million to lure the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to the Middle East.

Lionel Messi, Barcelona, La Liga, Spain, Argentina, Paris Saint-Germain, PSG
Lionel Messi will be leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season. Photo by Xavier Laine
Source: Getty Images

According to Sportskeeda, bookies have now named the Saudi club as the favourite to sign Messi ahead of Barcelona, as bidding for the Argentine superstar is set to open.

Al-Hilal have been given massive odds of 8/11 to land the 35-year-old after he leaves PSG this weekend, while the Catalan giants are second with odds of 11/8 to re-sign him.

Messi opted against renewing his contract with PSG beyond this season, despite the French club’s willingness to extend his contract for one more season.

Al-Hilal to announce Messi’s signing

Meanwhile, Saudi Pro League side, Al-Hilal are set to announce the signing of Messi once the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner officially leaves PSG, Football Transfers reports.

Saudi sports minister, Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal claimed the Argentine and Karim Benzema would join Cristiano Ronaldo in the Gulf nation this summer, with an official announcement 'imminent'.

Barcelona had been hoping that Messi would return to Camp Nou in a big way this summer, but it now seems that the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations will prove too onerous for the Catalan club.

Messi's future decided next week

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on speculation being set to end once Messi confirms his club future when he leaves Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the term.

The 35-year-old joined PSG in 2021 as a free agent and will leave as a two-time Ligue 1 champion when he departs the club at the end of the 2022/23 season.

Barcelona manager, Xavi stated Messi earned the right to dictate which club he wants to play for but doors at Camp Nou will always be open to the Argentine.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Editor- La Liga I Bundesliga I French Ligue
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