Lionel Messi stunned the football world when he headed through the exit gates at Barcelona in the summer of 2021, with the all-time great taking on a surprising new challenge by linking up with Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is only a matter of months into a stint at Parc des Princes, but questions are already being asked of how long he will stick around in France and where another move may take him.
With said discussions in mind, when will the mercurial Argentine next become available and how much could it cost any suitor to secure his signature? GOAL takes a look…
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How much does Lionel Messi earn at PSG?
L’Equipe reported shortly after Messi's arrival in Paris that he will be earning €30 million (£25m/$33m) across his debut campaign with new employers in France and €40m (£33m/$44m) in the seasons to come.
The South American’s arrival at PSG was confirmed on August 10, 2021, with a stunning recruitment coup pulled off by Ligue 1 heavyweights after seeing an all-time great forced through the exits at Camp Nou by financial difficulties.
No such struggles are endured in the French capital, with wealthy owners ensuring that no player is out of reach for the most ambitious of outfits.
Having previously invested heavily in the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, PSG were happy to do so again once Messi became available – especially as no transfer fee was required in order to secure his signature.
No transfer bonus was included in the deal for a modern day great, but it is reported that a loyalty fee will be paid on an annual basis that adds up to €15m (£12m/$17m).
It was also revealed at the time of Messi’s move from Spain to France that part of his salary will be paid in cryptocurrency fan tokens, in what were historic terms for football.
While he is clearly being very well paid at PSG, the deal Messi is working on at present sits some way short of the final one he signed while in Catalunya.
An agreement with Barcelona in 2017 was said to be worth more than $650m (£486m) over four years, with $161m (£120m) paid out as a base salary while the contract also included a $135m (£101m) signing bonus and $91m-plus (£68m) loyalty payment.
When does Lionel Messi’s contract at PSG expire?
PSG tied a marquee signing to a two-year contract after welcoming him through the doors at Parc des Princes, meaning his deal ostensibly expires in summer 2023.
However, there is the option of a further 12-month extension within that deal, which means Messi could stick around until the summer of 2024 – by which he time he will be turning 37 years of age.
It remains to be seen whether he gets close to honouring said agreement, with plenty of rumours to be found regarding a move elsewhere.
Ever since he headed through the exits at Camp Nou, a retracing of steps has been speculated on.
Barca have made no secret of the fact that they would like to welcome Messi back in some capacity further down the line, with Dani Alves suggesting to Radio Catalunya that he could be reunited with a former team-mate in a playing capacity.
The enigmatic Brazilian full-back has said: "Messi is the best player in the history of football. It’s strange to be here and not see him, to not have him in the squad.
"Sometimes things don’t happen as we dream. I already told him that he is not going to be in any better place than here.
"He told me the same when I left. It would be very good if Messi finishes his career here. Finishing it here would be a great gift for him, and the club could take care of it."
While there is plenty of debate regarding a return to Barca, a switch to MLS has also been mooted for some time – with Messi hinting in the past that he would like to chase an American dream.
Doors are being opened for him there, with Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas telling the Miami Herald of a player that David Beckham would love to have on his books in Florida: "Leo Messi is still one of the best players in the world, his skills have not diminished. I think, and David has a relationship with him, if he does leave PSG, at the time he leaves it, we’d love to see Lionel Messi be a player at Inter Miami and be part of our community.
"Can it happen? Look, we’ll push. I’m an optimist at heart. Could I see that happening? It’s a possibility."