Lionel Messi to Barcelona hits first stumbling block: Argentina star will have to take 75% cut from his last Barca wage
- Messi to leave PSG
- Barcelona want him to return
- Argentina star must take a massive pay cut
WHAT HAPPENED? The 2022 World Cup winner is heading for an acrimonious end to his stint at Paris Saint-Germain as the suspended player will not renew his contract with the Ligue 1 outfit. Barcelona have made no secret about their desire to re-sign Messi but their financial situation is a major stumbling block.
According to Sport, the Catalan club is drawing up a contract for two years worth a quarter of his last salary at the club, which was around €100m gross in the 2020-21 season. Moreover, the deal will also have a clause which would allow Messi to leave after one season with a €25m gross salary.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: According to Mundo Deportivo, the 35-year-old has been offered a mammoth $300 million (€271.37m) per year to play in the Saudi Pro League by Al Hilal, which is more than 10 times what the Catalan outfit are offering to him. Moreover, Inter Miami owner David Beckham recently met with Messi in Paris to convince the player to shift base to the United States.
AND WHAT'S MORE: GOAL understands Barcelona's financial constraints are a major hurdle in completing the deal and their pursuit is not making much progress. The club must cut down on their salary budget by €200m (£176m/$220m) and bring in another €100m (£76m/$120m) in transfer fees to comply with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations of La Liga and signing Messi would further complicate that process.
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WHAT NEXT? Messi will be out of action for two weeks following a suspension due to an unsolicited trip to Saudi Arabia. This will see him miss the next two PSG games, against Troyes and Ajaccio, but he should be in line to return for the fixture against Auxerre on May 21.