Lionel Messi to leave PSG as World Cup winner's departure on a free transfer confirmed by Christophe Galtier

  • Messi to leave Ligue 1 champions
  • Argentine has offer from Saudi Arabia
  • Contract expires at the end of June

WHAT HAPPENED? Galtier has confirmed that Messi will leave PSG when his contract expires amid an eye-watering offer from Saudi Arabia that would see him go head-to-head with Cristiano Ronaldo once again. Barcelona have also been linked with a potential move to sign Messi, but that deal appears to be dead, while the Premier League has also been touted as a shock destination.

WHAT THEY SAID: Galtier said of Messi leaving: "I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. It will be Leo’s last match at the Parc des Princes against Clermont [on June 3]."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has been in fine form this season, contributing 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1, but he is now poised to take on a new challenge. The most likely destination for the World Cup winner appears to be Saudi Arabia, as he took an unsanctioned trip to the nation earlier this season, and was subsequently suspended by his club. In addition, the president of the Saudi FA has gone on record to confirm the country's interest.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Messi had appeared in PSG's promotional campaign for their 2023-24 home kit, leading to suggestions that he would, in fact, be staying put. That idea has been put to bed with Galtier's comments, however, with the World Cup winner's two-year stay in France coming to an imminent end.


Lionel Messi PSG 2022-23Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? PSG will round off their Ligue 1 season against Clermont Foot, giving fans a chance to see Messi in action one more time. The Argentine has yet to make any announcement regarding his future, with the 35-year-old likely to take time over the summer to consider his options before the big reveal.