Paris Saint-Germain are uncertain about renewing Lionel Messi’s contract following his performance in the 2-0 defeat against Stade Rennais, according to L’Equipe.
Messi was arguably the best player in a below-par PSG side on Sunday evening, yet his display reportedly did little to assuage doubts about his longevity amid negotiations for a renewal beyond the summer.
The 35-year-old joined Les Parisien as a free agent in 2021 on a two-year contract with the option of an additional 12 months.
However, renewal talks over the past few months have centred on an entirely new deal with the club previously keen to keep the Argentina international for much longer.
There were reports that PSG had reached an agreement with the former Barcelona man following the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
But negotiations have yet to be finalised, with several details still to be ironed out, including the player’s salary package, with reports suggesting Messi is pushing for terms closer to Kylian Mbappe’s.
However, that could pose problems for the French champions given that they are already threading on thigh ropes with the financial fair play regulations.
Messi’s troubled relationship with the PSG faithful could also be a major determining factor in his contract extension.
Some figures in the club’s board believe that keeping the forward may not be the favoured option for several fans.
Messi, who already had a difficult relationship with the fans after being booed last year, went straight down the tunnel at full-time following the defeat to Rennes while some of his teammates applauded the supporters.
PSG already had ideas of breaking up the attacking trident of Neymar, Messi and Mbappe next summer, which could open the door for the Argentine’s departure.
However, Messi is not short on interest, with clubs in Saudi Arabia and Major League Soccer keen on signing the forward.
PSG pulling out all the stops to keep Messi in Ligue 1 is no longer a certainty, with the club now identifying other targets, including Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.
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