In spite of the fact that Lionel Messi’s deal with Paris Saint-Germain expires this summer, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is under strict orders from Qatar to keep the Argentinean in the French capital “at all costs.”
If Messi is unable to reach new terms with PSG, who are backed by Qatar Sports Investments, in June, he would likely become the most sought-after free agent in all of football, with Barcelona, Inter Milan, and others seeking for his services.
Messi is a Barca club star who amassed a record 672 goals before joining PSG on a free transfer in the summer of 2021 as the Blaugrana battled under a €1.35 billion debt. Also, a trip back to Camp Nou has been more likely.
The player himself is believed to be open to a return, and Barca president Joan Laporta recently stated that “I need to find a solution to improve this connection between Messi and FC Barcelona.”
Yet, according to Mundo Deportivo, Qatar is prepared to go above and beyond to keep him at PSG.
Doha demands Messi stay
They write that Al-Khelaifi, the president of the Parisian club, has received orders from Doha, the capital of Qatar, where those who actually own PSG dwell, “to tie up Messi’s contract by all conceivable means.”
With Kylian Mbappe earning €72 million year before taxes, Messi is currently PSG’s second-highest paid player, receiving €63.6 million annually before taxes.
Messi, whose team, Argentina, won the World Cup in Qatar in December, has apparently received an offer from Al-Saudi Nassr’s rivals Al-Hilal that is nearly double Cristiano Ronaldo’s €200 million annual pay.
Even if PSG might not pay him that much, they could afford to raise it over Mbappe’s, but it could have unintended consequences.
Last year, Mbappe came very close to signing with Real Madrid. However, he decided against it and instead signed a new contract with PSG in May. This made him the highest-paid player in the world prior to Ronaldo’s move to the Middle East.
Mbappe, who is now the captain of France, was given unprecedented control over the club’s sporting strategy, but if he isn’t the highest earner, Parisians worry that Madrid will turn his head once more.