The futures of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain Kylian Mbappe are reportedly “directly related” with both players yet to agree new contracts with their clubs ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Messi is now technically a free agent, after his contract expired at the end of June, while Mbappe has just one year left on his deal with the French side.
Messi is expected to stay at the Camp Nou but an extension has not yet been announced. The delay is because Barcelona’s financial situation means the club must sell players first to free up some space on the wage bill, according to Dermot Corrigan at The Athletic.
Meanwhile, Mbappe’s future at PSG is not guaranteed either. According to Andi Orubia at Diario AS, the France international has already told PSG he will not renew his contract which puts the club in a tricky situation and potentially willing to sell Mbappe to avoid losing the striker for free.
If Mbappe were to leave PSG then the French club could move for Messi and has already made the 34-year-old offer. The Argentine is said to view PSG as “an alternative” if he can not re-sign for the Catalan giants this summer.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said Messi wants to stay, but the 59-year-old needs to free up space on the wage bill to comply with La Liga’s salary cap which is “not proving to be easy,” according to Marca.
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Will Mbappe Leave PSG?
There have been regular rumors that Mbappe could leave PSG for Real Madrid, and the striker fuelled the speculation in June when he spoke to France Football about his future, as reported by Marca.
“I have to make the right decision and it is difficult… and [I must] give myself every opportunity to make a good decision,” he said. “I am in a place that I like, where I feel good, but is this the best place for me? I still don’t have the answer.”
PSG president Al-Khelaifi was quick to warn Mbappe that the club would not let him go without a fight and certainly not on a free transfer in an interview with L’Equipe.
“I will be clear, Mbappe is going to stay in Paris. We will never sell him and he will never leave on a free (transfer). Mbappe has everything he needs in Paris,” he said. “Where can he go? What club, in terms of ambition, can compete with PSG today? All I can say is that things are going well and I hope we can reach an agreement (on a new contract). This is Paris, this is his country. He has a mission, not only to play football, but to promote Ligue 1, his country and his capital.”
Mbappe Advised To Leave PSG
However, PSG will be in a tricky situation if Mbappe does not sign a new contract and could ultimately be forced to sell to avoid losing the 22-year-old for free in 2022.
The PSG star has been advised to leave PSG if he wants to win the Ballon d’Or. Former France and Real Madrid striker Nicolas Anelka offered Mbappe some advice in a letter for The Athletic.
“If you want to win the Ballon d’Or, which is what you should be looking at to echo Ronaldo & Messi, you’ll have to compete with the best,” he wrote. “You can’t say you compete with the best all the time when you are at PSG.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona is also in a difficult situation because of the club’s finances, according to ESPN’s Moises Llorens. The club has “serious problems” because there are no players willing to leave or take pay-cuts currently.
Barca has to reduce the wage bill to make room for Messi’s new contract, as reported by Marca. Francisco Trincao has already left, Junior Firpo is expected to be next, while Barca is also hoping to offload Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic.
Yet, rather worryingly, the report adds that “more people will have to be moved on” to make room for Messi. Philippe Coutinho is mentioned along with Martin Braithwaite, Carles Alena, Clement Lenglet, and even Antoine Griezmann.