Manchester City have been given one final opportunity to incredibly sign Lionel Messi as Paris Saint-Germain have decided not to extend his contract, according to a report.
Messi was linked with a move to the Etihad, where he would reunite with Pep Guardiola, after it emerged Barcelona were unable to keep him in summer 2021. However, it was PSG who won the race for the Argentine icon, signing him on a two-year contract with the option of a further year.
After enduring a slow first season in the French capital, Messi has really got firing this campaign. He has notched 20 goals and 19 assists in 37 appearances and has worked brilliantly alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
But Messi has never felt as comfortable with PSG as he did at Barca. Following PSG’s Champions League exit to Bayern Munich, he was booed by his own supporters.
The 35-year-old attacker is also thought to miss the city of Barcelona. His children were all born there and a lot of his friends live in the city.
Messi’s two-year deal with PSG is set to expire in the summer. As mentioned previously, the Ligue 1 side have the option to extend it by a year, but as per French newspaper L’Equipe, that will not be happening.
Messi has been suspended by PSG for two weeks after he went on an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, for whom he works as a tourism ambassador.
Messi is banned from playing or training with the team and will have his pay docked during the two-week period.
Lionel Messi ready to leave PSG, with Man City lurking
L’Equipe write that the suspension is the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for Messi’s spell at the Parc des Princes. PSG chiefs have decided against activating the extension option in his contract.
As such, Messi will be available on a free transfer this summer. His former club Barca are doing all they can to drum up enough money to re-sign him. But they are yet to get the green light from La Liga, opening up the possibility of Messi heading to City instead.
The Manchester club have always wanted to reunite Messi with Guardiola, who had a hugely successful time at Barca together between 2008 and 2012.
Guardiola still holds Messi in very high regard. Whenever he is asked to compare Messi with Erling Haaland, he explains how his former Barca talisman is a step above. Haaland is a fantastic goalscorer, but he cannot do some of the things Messi is capable of.
City now have a second opportunity to sign arguably the best player of all time. They missed out on him in 2021, so they will not want to fail a second time.
It would be incredible to see Messi and Kevin de Bruyne play behind Haaland. They would help the striker to score even more goals, while Messi, of course, would net some stunning strikes of his own.
Signing Messi is not just about his performances on the pitch, either. It would result in a huge increase in City’s shirt sales and viewing figures, as the World Cup winner has a global following only matched by a handful of athletes.