Last month, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were eliminated from the Champions League, raising questions about the futures of players Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) was eliminated in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League 2022-23 by German powers Bayern Munich, 3-0 on aggregate. The Parisian club’s dismal performance in Europe’s premier football competition has prompted questions about the future of its star players such as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and others.
While speculation over Messi’s future at Parc des Princes dominates the news, Mbappe’s future is frequently discussed due to the Frenchman’s propensity to leave hints that he is unhappy with certain aspects of life at PSG.
Less than a year after signing a new contract with the Ligue 1 giants, the 24-year-old was again linked to a transfer to Real Madrid. According to some speculations, Mbappe has already commenced preparations for this transfer. Last week, after he made statements about using his image for marketing purposes, the notion that he was unhappy with his club acquired momentum.
In a recent interview, Mbappe leaves little room for interpretation when asked about his objectives. “What is the next step? The Champions League title. I have already reached the final, semi-final, quarterfinal, and Round of 16 of the tournament. I have tried everything except to triumph. That is all I require. Where do I wish to complete it? In Paris. I am a Parisian with a contract.”
PSG has recently demonstrated a strong desire to retain Mbappe at all costs and will accommodate his needs and desires. Few teams would have (or could have) rejected bids of over 150 million euros for a player with less than a year remaining on his contract, but PSG has demonstrated that they will do everything possible to retain him.
Mbappe’s commitment to PSG has shifted the focus to Messi, whose contract at Parc des Princes expires in June. Barcelona has made no secret of their desire to bring the legendary player back to Camp Nou for “one last dance.” The contract of Argentina’s World Cup 2022 superstar expires at the conclusion of the season, and while convincing the 35-year-old legend to rejoin the La Liga giants will be the most important factor, finances will be the biggest obstacle.
Manager Xavi Hernandez has expressed optimism about bringing the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner back to Barcelona. He is leading the club’s efforts to reunite Messi with his initial squad. Sport reports that Xavi and Messi frequently discuss the possibility of Messi playing for them in the future over the phone.
The Catalan newspaper claims to have received a response from Messi himself after contacting the player’s entourage for a comment on the Barcelona negotiations. While acknowledging that Messi and Xavi have a strong rapport, the Argentine reportedly denied that the two have discussed his future as a Barça player.
Several players who decided to join Barcelona last summer cited Xavi as a major factor in their decision. Xavi contributed significantly to the club’s recruitment efforts. As they appear to be advancing towards a league championship, Culers will have high hopes that he can carry off the feat once more. Time will tell whether Messi will join the club for the upcoming season or choose to join Mbappe at PSG.