Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi's decision over his future could potentially be the biggest transfer story of the summer. The Argentine's current contract is set to expire in a matter of months, allowing him to speak to other clubs over a free transfer in the upcoming window.
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly the favourites to sign him as Lionel Messi could reunite with former teammate and close friend Neymar Jr. He could also serve as an ideal short-term replacement for Kylian Mbappe, who has garnered interest from the Blaugrana's arch-rivals Real Madrid.
It has now been reported that Lionel Messi delaying the decision over his future has begun to cause panic behind the scenes at PSG.
It has been claimed that PSG are worried about the six-time Ballon d'Or winner renewing his contract with Barcelona. The forward shares an excellent relationship with newly-elected president Joan Laporta, who has pledged to try and convince Lionel Messi to remain at the Nou Camp. If he does extend his contract, this decision could severely impact PSG in two ways.
Firstly, Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda has revealed that Mbappe has already made up his mind over a move to Real Madrid come summer, which could leave PSG without the Frenchman as well as his potential replacement, Lionel Messi, next season. Mbappe will enter the final year of his contract at PSG and is yet to agree a new deal.
Secondly, although it has been reported that Neymar is close to signing a new long-term deal in the French capital, there has been no official announcement yet. The Brazilian is believed to be stalling on the deal, which is a worrying sign for the Parisiens, particularly due to the timing as this has coincided with Laporta's return to Barcelona.
While the French champions were previously believed to be relaxed over the futures of their prized assets, Lionel Messi's decision could now complicate matters for Mauricio Pochettino and co.
Javier Tebas wants 'best player in history' Lionel Messi to remain at Barcelona
LaLiga Santander president Javier Tebas has advised Barcelona captain Lionel Messi to remain at Barcelona amidst reports of a free transfer. Tebas believes that the Argentine is the greatest footballer in history and advised him to prolong his stay at the Nou Camp.
Speaking on Lionel Messi, LaLiga chief Tebas expressed;
"If I were [Lionel] Messi's advisor I would tell him, 'stay at Barca'. I want Messi to stay. He is the best player in history. If you are thinking about his last years of football, he should continue to be linked to the Barcelona brand. He started at Barcelona and I think he should continue at Barca. If I was his advisor, I would tell him he must do everything possible to stay at Barca."
The mercurial Argentine made up for a relatively slow start to the campaign with an unbelievable upturn in form in 2021. Lionel Messi has accumulated a staggering 23 goals and a further eight assists in just 24 LaLiga starts this term for second-placed Barcelona, who sit four points behind Atletico Madrid.