Extraordinary news emerged on Thursday that soccer superstar Lionel Messi is to leave Barcelona this summer.
The Argentinian forward has spent his entire career at Barcelona in Spain. Although he is out of contract, Messi was expected to sign a new deal to keep him at Barcelona for the remainder of his career.
The news he is leaving blows all that talk out of the water. And now the conversation has switched to where he’s going next.
LATEST NEWS | Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
The early front runners in soccer betting odds are Paris Saint-Germain of France.
The French giants are one of the few clubs in the world who can afford Messi, and he would also reunite with his old Barcelona teammate, Neymar.
Other names in the running are Manchester City, as well as fellow Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea.
Let’s have a look at the runners and riders!!
|Lionel Messi Next Club Betting|
|Stay At Barcelona||+333||N/A|
|Any MLS Club||+1100||+1000|
PSG (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Odds -110
PSG is managed by an Argentinian, ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.
I wouldn’t read too much into the national link, as neither man played together for their country, and they haven’t worked together at any point.
The reason why PSG is so heavily fancied is that they are going all out to win the Champions League this season.
They have already secured the signing of former Real Madrid and Spain defender Sergio Ramos, and Italy national goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
These are statement signings, the sort you make if you are serious about winning the top trophy in Europe.
Adding Messi to the current crop of players, along with Ramos, would bring huge Champions League know-how to the PSG ranks.
Manchester City is currently the favorites with top sportsbooks to win the Champions League. Should Messi arrive in Paris, that could all quickly change.
The chance of seeing Messi reunite with Neymar is mouth watering. How would Neymar react though? One of the reasons the Brazilian left Barcelona was because he didn’t like living in Messi’s shadow!!
- Odds +210
Next in the betting to sign Messi is English Premier League champions Manchester City.
There are huge reasons why Lionel Messi may end up at City, and the main one is the Barcelona connection.
As well as having Messi’s former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola managing the club, there are also other influential figures from Barca now working at City.
Manchester City would have no problem paying his wages, but the club has just splashed out $140 Million on Jack Grealish and is trying to sign England captain Harry Kane, who would cost them even more.
Could they sanction paying Messi’s ridiculously high wages as well?
City could certainly afford them, but would they be willing to pay them?
They have also fallen foul of financial fair play rules in the past, and don’t want to go down that path again.
If could come down to a choice between Kane and Messi, and that could spell bad news for Kane, as he currently looks much harder to get, given Tottenham Hotspurs’ stance.
The third side in the betting is Barcelona.
- Odds +333
But isn’t he leaving Barcelona? I hear you asking. Well, yes, apparently.
Let’s look at the statement released by the club though. In it Barcelona state that they have reached an agreement with Messi on a new contract, and that it is Spanish football league rules that is preventing him from signing the deal.
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) August 5, 2021
Could this be Messi and Barca trying to force La Liga’s hand on a financial issue?
They might be playing a game of brinkmanship, hoping that the league won’t want to lose its superstar, and that the league’s ruling body will give Barcelona some sort of leeway on financial rules.
It would be odd if this is the case, but does anything surprise in soccer these days!!!
Finally, is Messi coming to America?
Any MLS Club
- Odds +1100
In what will be an ever-changing market, the betting odds on Messi to be playing his soccer in the MLS next is +1100.
The money is in the league, and there have also been rumors in the past of him turning up at David Beckham’s Inter Miami franchise.
I believe this to be a long shot.
If PSG is prepared to pay Messi the money, he will see them as a viable option to adding more silverware to his collection.
Playing in the MLS is probably only going to be a realistic option for Messi when he knows his career at top European clubs has come to an end.
The current plight of Inter Miami might make it less likely too. Sure Messi has a relationship with David Beckham, but is that going to trump the chance of winning the Champions League with PSG or Man City?
One certain thing is that it’s going to be an interesting few days or weeks seeing what happens next.
PSG were quick to move when Sergio Ramos became available, so if you are thinking of placing a wager on them signing Messi, I wouldn’t wait too long.
Be sure to check out our soccer betting page for more information about making the best soccer bets!