Lionel Messi has reportedly been suspended by his French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain for two weeks after he skipped practice to travel to Saudi Arabia.
But that’s not all: PSG isn’t expected to extend Messi’s contract after this season, rendering him a free agent, according to multiple reports.
Messi went on an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia following the team’s loss to Lorient, and rumors about his future with the club began running rampant. In one month, Messi is set to become a free agent as long as PSG doesn’t extend him, which it doesn’t appear they will.
During his suspension, Messi reportedly won’t be paid either.
The reason for the travel to Saudi Arabia had to do a sponsorship with the country.
However, Messi didn’t travel there without the team knowing. He reportedly ask the team’s sporting director Luis Campos and manager Christophe Galtier permission to go. The team apparently was going to be awarded two days off if they defeated Lorient, but they fell 3-1 instead.
Messi was apparently given conditional permission if the team won or drew to Lorient, but after the loss, Messi didn’t abide by that.
The entire PSG squad was seen at practice on Monday to train except for Messi, who filled his duties in Saudi Arabia as a tourism ambassador.
With the suspension, PSG fans know what is coming for the Argentinean superstar. Where exactly he plays next is up for debate, though.
Saudi Arabia, which currently has Cristiano Ronaldo in its top league with Al-Nassr FC, can offer even more cash to Messi. Ronaldo signed a 2.5-year deal worth more than 200 million euros, so that’s likely the bar for a player like Messi.
However, being arguably the best player in the world still at 35 years old, Messi may still want to play for a team with competitive relevance in Europe. Barcelona, who Messi played for from 2014-2021,has been floated as an idea, but it’s unknown whether they can pay for him now. Their financial issues led to Messi joining PSG in the first place.
While other options remain and will certainly come to light when Messi hits the market, a move to MLS may not be out of the cards. Miami is a destination that has been rumored to want Messi and can bid for him.
Getting a player like him into the growing league would be a phenomenal draw no matter where he plays in the United States.