Where Will Lionel Messi Sign This Summer?

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All eyes are on Lionel Messi as the 2020-21 season hurtles towards its end. While there is still a lot left to be decided both domestically and internationally for Barcelona this term, the future of Messi is looming over everything else. The best player to ever don the Barca colors is out of contract at season’s end, and many believe he will leave the Nou Camp for greener pastures this summer.

Messi has seemingly been on the outs with Barcelona for quite some time. He was happy to voice his displeasure over the direction of the club last year, but he ultimately decided to stay and see out the remainder of his contract. The club were given the chance to prove that they’re serious about contending for trophies with Messi in his final season, but things haven’t gone particularly well.

As of this writing, Barca are just third in La Liga on 46 points, nine points adrift of league leaders Atletico Madrid. The Blaugrana were also just humiliated 4-1 by Kylian Mbappe and Paris St. Germain in Champions League earlier this week. Barring a dramatic turnaround in the second leg, Barca will once again be leaving Europe’s top competition early.

Messi’s Deal With Barcelona Will Expire on June 30

At that point, he’ll be free to leave without any other team having to pay a transfer fee. While the 33-year-old may no longer be in his prime, he is still one of the most productive players on the planet. The line of suitors will form to the left once he becomes available.

Soccer betting sites are offering you the chance to put money on where Messi will ultimately land ahead of next season. Manchester City and Paris St. Germain are understandable favorites, as both clubs have the financial means to meet Messi’s asking price. There is also a chance he stays with Barcelona, while some believe he’ll make an appearance in MLS at some point before hanging up his boots.

Where will Messi go?

Paris St. Germain (+150)

“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Messi helped Barcelona stage a dramatic come-from-behind second-leg triumph over PSG in Champions League back in 2017, but the Blaugrana’s chances of pulling off a similar stunt this year seem dead in the water. Barca does not have the firepower the 2017 team had, especially with Neymar and Luis Suarez out of the picture.

PSG have been the cream of the French crop for the last decade. Since a big-money takeover back in 2011, Paris have become one of the most prestigious clubs in Europe. However, the club’s owners have tried and repeatedly failed in their quests to lure either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to the French capital.

Champions League glory has continued to evade PSG. While they have won just about everything in France over the past decade, the club has still never won Europe’s top crown. That could change this season, of course. But if it doesn’t, you can bet one of the richest clubs on earth will be happy to fork over whatever it takes to bring Messi over from Spain.

PSG have added big-name players like Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham, and Edinson Cavani to town, but signing Messi would put the club on the map like never before. Mbappe is on his way to becoming the best player in the world (if he isn’t already), while signing with PSG would give Messi the chance to reunite with Neymar.

While Paris seemingly have endless financial resources, it would still be difficult for them to afford all of Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe. There has been talk about the potential need for an Mbappe sale in order to fund a Messi move. Would it make sense to part ways with the 22-year-old if it means adding the soon-to-be-34-year-old?

Manchester City (+500)

There was a lot of smoke around the Messi-to-City fire last summer, but nothing came of it. Pep Guardiola is reportedly interested in a reunion with Messi, and it would be absolutely fascinating to see the Argentina international try his hand in the best league in the world. Messi has won all there is to win in Spain. Why not give the Premier League a whirl?

If he does decide to head to the isle, City would be the obvious favorites for his signature. After a down 2019-20 campaign, Guardiola has City right back at the top. There is a very real chance the Citizens do the quadruple this season with three domestic titles and a Champions League crown still in sight.

Does Manchester City Need Messi?

Absolutely not. Between Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, and countless others, there is already an embarrassment of riches at the Etihad. City have essentially become the English version of PSG. Winning trophies at home has been easy, but European glory has been more elusive.

If City fail in their quest to win Champions League this year, that would only heighten their desire to bring Messi to England. It may cost City some of their better players in order to make the money work, but it’s hard to imagine a club like this passing on the opportunity to sign arguably the best player in the history of the sport. If Messi wants to join your club, you move heaven and earth to make that happen.

Would adding Messi make City a more formidable team on the pitch? That’s debatable. Would adding Messi help City in their quest to become the biggest club in the world? Without question.

Any MLS Club (+1200)

Messi will be 34 in June. While he may no longer be at his peak, it’s still too early to suggest he has reached the MLS stage of his career. MLS has done an awful lot in recent years to try and improve its place in the global pecking order, but most around the world still view the US’ top domestic league as something of a retirement league.

MLS has gotten its fair share of big names over the years. David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Kaka, and Thierry Henry have all played in the American top flight in the past. However, MLS was also the last stop before retirement for the vast majority of them.

Messi will probably come to the US at some point. Beckham’s Inter Miami have already been linked with him in the past. I just don’t think he’s ready for this step yet. Messi has plenty left in the tank, so he’ll stay in Europe for at least another few years before making the trek across the Atlantic.

Inter Milan (+1600)

Inter Milan are one of the most decorated clubs in all of Europe, but the Italian side has fallen on harder times lately. Inter have won Serie A 18 times overall, but their last title came over a decade ago. Inter haven’t won the Coppa Italia since 2011, and their last Champions League crown came in 2010.

The side has made plenty of big-money moves over the past couple of years in an attempt to reclaim some relevance. Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Christian Eriksen, and Arturo Vidal are just a few of the big names to have arrived at the San Siro within the past two years. So far, so good. Inter are currently top the Italian top flight on 50 points, which puts them a point clear of old rivals AC Milan.

Heading to Italy would give Messi the chance to reignite his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is currently plying his craft at Juventus after going toe-to-toe with Messi in La Liga for the better part of a decade. Ronaldo hasn’t yet led Juve to a coveted Champions League title, though. Perhaps Messi would enjoy heading to Italy in an attempt to thwart his former rival once again.

Inter reportedly offered Barcelona about $300 million for Messi back in 2006 when he was still a teenager. While that’s a ton of money, it was clearly the right decision for Barca. Milan have been more than happy to spend all sorts of money to try and refuel the club since new ownership took over. Signing Messi would certainly go a long way toward reestablishing Inter as one of the premier clubs in Europe.

What’s the Best Bet?

In the end, the race for Messi will likely come down to PSG or Manchester City if he decides to leave the Nou Camp. Both clubs have more than enough cash on hand to satisfy his salary demands, and both are desperate in their attempts to win Champions League for the first time.

What happens in the CL this season may ultimately determine which club has the upper hand when it comes to signing Messi. Whichever side fails to win Europe’s top title may feel more compelled to outspend the other. If neither team wins Champions League, we could see quite the bidding war.

Manchester City offers quite a bit more upside at +500 than PSG does at +150. Playing in France would be the easy way out for Messi given the general lack of quality in the rest of Ligue 1, while heading to England would give Messi a new challenge entirely. Signing with City would give us an answer to the age-old question, “Can Lionel Messi do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?”

The presence of Guardiola only makes City a more attractive destination. Bet on Messi signing with the Citizens at +500 with online soccer betting sites.

Where Will Messi Go? –Manchester City (+500)
Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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