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Where next for Lionel Messi?

Thursday, 23 March 2023 (11:51 IST)
2022 FIFA World Cup winner Lionel Messi could be on the move in the summer, amidst reports suggesting he may be ready to quit Paris Saint-Germain, who are also considering wholesale changes at the end of the 2022-23 season. While his future with the French club hangs in the balance, returning to Barcelona seems unlikely, although there will be no shortage of opportunities elsewhere.
Hesitance over new PSG deal
Arguably the greatest player to have graced the beautiful game, Argentinian superstar may have some big decisions to make over the coming months, as Lionel Messi’s future at PSG falls increasingly under the spotlight. According to Fabrizio Romano for CBS Sports, there is hesitance on the part of Messi to agree new terms with PSG, who are keen to extend the current deal which expires on 30 June 2023. 
There was apparently an agreement reached in principle last December, just prior to Messi departing for the World Cup in Qatar, albeit without anything being formalised contractually. Now it seems that before putting pen to paper, the 35-year-old wants assurances about future plans at the Parisian club, which includes information about recruitment plans and who will be coaching the team.
PSG were prematurely eliminated from the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, losing over two legs against Bundesliga side Bayern Munich, placing doubts over whether current manager Christophe Galtier will be axes at the end of the domestic season in France. Likewise, disgruntled fans have booed star players and particularly Messi, following the team’s dismal European exit.
America dreams of Messi arrival
Insofar as transfer sagas go, the stories linking Messi with a possible move to Inter Miami have stretched over the last couple of years, given the MLS club co-owned by former English soccer idol David Beckham has made no secret of their intentions. And given his current situation with PSG, that actually could be an increasingly likely prospect. Furthermore, due to Messi already owning property in the area, he is already familiar with the South Beach lifestyle in Florida.
Unsurprisingly, the American media is hyped about the possibility, while MLS commissioner Don Garber has insisted the league will do whatever it takes, conscious this could be one of the most captivating signings in American soccer history. “If we have the opportunity to do that, it’s going to be outside the box,” insisted Garber, who is expected to leave no stone unturned towards the aim of getting Messi to Miami.
And such a move would be huge for the MLS, giving the American competition a massive boost in profile, as fans pack stadiums just to glimpse the Argentinian legend in action. The league would undoubtedly gain increased interest from overseas broadcasters, due to Messi boasting his own legion of passionate followers around the globe, regardless of which team he represents. Bookies also tip the USA as being the favourite destination for Messi.
Rival bidding interest from the Middle East
Many were surprised when Cristiano Ronaldo pitched up in Saudi Pro League, signing a lucrative deal with Al Nassr, following the awkward circumstances of his departure from Premier League giants Manchester United. But having settled into the Saudi Arabian lifestyle, and already scoring plenty of goals at his new club, this move appears to be working exceptionally well for the Portuguese superstar.
What’s more, this has also fuelled speculation that Messi could follow in his footsteps. Based upon reviews covering the best online betting sites in the UAE, comparing odds and range of markets available to punters, one such market in football wagering surrounds potential transfers. And odds are steadily shortening for Messi to join clubs in the Middle East, with many from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE all monitoring his current situation.
Without any shadow of doubt, were Messi to join a team in this location, and so quickly on the heels of Ronaldo, there would certainly be cause for jubilation across the region. After the successfully hosting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, along with Saudi Arabia forming part of a joint bid to host the 2030 tournament, ambition is driving the Middle East to new heights insofar as football is concerned.

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