Barcelona presidential candidate Agusti Benedito has revealed the La Liga club might be left with no choice if Paris Saint-Germain come calling for Lionel Messi. Barcelona were unable to compete with PSG’s money power when the French giants swooped Neymar from under their noses four seasons ago for a world-record transfer fee. PSG are one of the two clubs rumoured to make a play for Messi when the Argentinian’s Barcelona contract expires at the end of the current season. The 33-year-old is in the final six months of his contract and can start negotiations with any club f his choice when the winter transfer window opens in January. Barcelona Labels Lionel Messi as the Real GOAT After He Loses Best FIFA Men’s Player Award 2020 to Robert Lewandowski, Juventus Fans Remind Them of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi could still renew his contract at Barcelona. But the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has shown little interest in doing it, especially with the club enduring another disappointing start this season. Barcelona are fifth in the La Liga 2020-21 points table and are six points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid in the title race. They have already lost twice in 12 matches in the domestic league and were humbled 3-0 at home by Juventus in their final group stage match in 2020-21 UEFA Champions League. Lionel Messi Was Fuming After Barcelona’s 0–3 Defeat to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in UEFA Champions League 2020–21 Group Stage: Reports.
The struggles of the club on the field and its conflicts outside it have only added to Messi’s unwillingness to sign a new contract. The 33-year-old had attempted to force a transfer away last summer and was reportedly interested in moving to Manchester City as a free agent before the club and ex-president Josep Bartomeu threatened him with legal action compelling Messi to scrap his move and remain at the club. But with him in the last six months of his contract PSG are reportedly preparing to welcome the Argentinian next summer.
The big-spending French giants are among the favourites to land the Barcelona talisman if he decides to leave at the end of this season. Manchester City were earlier the favourites to sign Messi but PSG have joined the race recently. Messi’s former Barcelona teammate and friend Neymar started those alarms when he stated he would love to play alongside Messi again and wants to do it next season.
Benedito, who is one of the presidential candidates for the Barcelona chair, said he would love for Messi to continue at Barcelona and end his career here but admits they would be unable to compete if PSG came for him. “He is the best player in the world. I heard Leo Messi say that he wanted to leave Barcelona (last summer), and a decision like that is not made because he got up on the wrong side of the bed.
“So, the first thing will be that he has a change of opinion, because if we have to compete with any other team in Europe that has their eyes on Messi... if the issue is economic, we are not going to be able to,” Benedito was quoted as saying to Radio Marca by Goal. “When I heard Neymar, I said, 'Holy sh*t, watch out for these guys' because PSG belong to Qatar, who are organising the World Cup, who have a club of their own... If PSG wanted him, economically we would not be able to compete,” he added.
“I hope that the day will come when Messi will say that after 20 years at Barcelona, he wants to continue,” Benedito, who is one of the candidates who has promised to work on keeping Messi at the club if elected, said.