Lionel Messi is currently contracted to stay at PSG until the summer of 2023. The Argentine signed a two-year contract after a shocking exit from Barcelona last year and he doesn’t have too much remaining on his current deal.
PSG, of course, do not want to lose their crown jewel anytime soon. They are reportedly hopeful of convincing Messi to sign a new deal, extending his contract to 2024 or beyond.
The Argentine star is yet to reply to that as he is laser-focused on the upcoming FIFA World Cup – which could be his final edition as well.
But once that is over, Leo will have to think about his future. There is a good chance that he leaves PSG and looks to script a new chapter in his career. So let’s look at 3 possible destinations for Messi in 2023 if he decides to move on.
Messi back to Barcelona?
Messi had a bitter and heart-breaking exit from Barcelona last year. He did not want to leave at all and was forced to do so because of the Spanish side’s bloated wage structure and La Liga rules prohibiting them from re-signing. There is a lingering feeling that Leo left the club earlier than it was meant to be.
But time is still, thankfully, on his side. Messi could re-join Barça next year once he becomes a free agent, allowing them to re-sign him without paying a transfer fee. The Blaugrana also seem keen on making this reunion happen, with president Joan Laporta even teasing it in a recent interview.
Messi could still run the show for Barça, with his incredible creativity and ability to get the best out of teammates. The final decision will, of course, rest with Leo. Will he go back to a familiar place for a last dance or look to keep challenging himself at PSG. Or might he go somewhere else? Only time will tell.
Possible reunion with Pep Guardiola
It’s often argued that Messi is the player he is due to the guidance and management of Pep Guardiola at Barcelona. The Argentine played under Pep for almost five years during his time at Camp Nou, winning multiple Champions League and La Liga titles.
Leo was a perfect fit for Guardiola’s possession-based, tiki-taka model and scored 91 goals in 2012, the majority of which he played under the Spaniard. If Messi becomes available next summer, Manchester City could look to make a swoop for him. Having a player with such experience and quality would definitely give them the boost they need to dominate Europe.
Messi’s major wages could be fulfilled by the Premier League side and he could be tempted to reunite with Guardiola for one last push in his career. It remains to be seen whether the Spanish gaffer can convince Messi to finally play in the Premier League and prove his quality in the best football league in the world.
Do a career full circle with Newell’s Old Boys return
An out-of-the-box option for Messi next year could be returning to the place where it all started for him. While his stardom became evident at Barcelona’s academy, his actual football journey began at Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys.
He played as a little child in their academy, catching the eyes of many major clubs including Barça. As a result, Leo remains indebted to the club that helped him become the player he is today. He could pay back that gratitude by ending his career for Newell’s Old Boys.
The Argentine club would only be more than happy to accommodate him, knowing how it’ll attract more eyes to them and make them one of the best clubs in South American football.
Messi would have to sacrifice his career in Europe and potentially some major titles, but knowing how much he’s already won, he has the option of leaving all that behind to give back to the club that helped kick-start his footballing journey.