Messi to PSG: Who are the Champions League favourites?

Martin Macdonald
Lionel Messi could be closer than ever to staying at Barcelona

Lionel Messi is looking increasingly likely to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer which would catapult the French giants to the status of favourites for the Champions League.

On Thursday the football world was shocked when Barcelona announced that it would not be financially possible for the club to bring the Argentine back on a new contract as it would be in further breach of La Liga salary regulations.

A few days later Messi held a tearful press conference to say goodbye, and in that press conference, he admitted a move to PSG was "a possibility".

Only a handful of clubs could afford Messi, of which PSG is one, and if he were to transfer to Paris he could form a potentially deadly superstar trio alongside Kylian Mbappe and former team-mate Neymar.

Many believe the move to PSG is already a done deal, as apparently do the bookies, as PSG have been made 3-1 favourites to win the Champions League in 2021/22.

Even without the Argentine, PSG have recruited superbly, bringing in Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma on free transfers, as well as flying wing-back Achraf Hakimi from Inter.

The addition of Messi means this could finally be their year in Europe.

Who else are among the favourites for the Champions League?

Champions League winner odds

PSG - 3-1

Man City - 10-3

Bayern Munich - 11-2

Liverpool - 15-2

Chelsea - 8-1

Man Utd - 12-1

Juventus - 16-1

Real Madrid - 16-1

Barcelona - 18-1

Atletico Madrid - 25-1

Inter - 40-1

Dortmund - 44-1

Not far behind PSG is 2021 Champions League finalists, Man City. Pep Guardiola's side reached their first ever final in the competition last season, only to lose to Chelsea.

They have strengthened in the summer with the acquisition of Jack Grealish for £100 million and Harry Kane could soon follow, and should that happen they will take some beating.

Bayern Munich are always among the favourites but have only strengthened the first team with the purchase of Dayot Upamecano as a direct replacement for David Alaba.

Liverpool were ravaged by injuries last season but with the likes of Virgil van Dijk returning fully fit they will be in a much better position to make an assault on the Champions League, which they won in 2019.

Last season's winners, Chelsea, are in at 8-1 on OddsChecker. If they are to confirm the return of Romelu Lukaku, however, that price might go lower.

Man Utd have completed two superb signings this summer in Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, but the bookies still don't make them among the favourites for the tournament.

The remaining European Super League clubs are up next, with Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona at 16-1, 16-1 and 18-1 respectively.

It shows the massive decline in recent years of these two juggernauts on the European scene.

Real Madrid haven't signed a soul for a transfer fee as Alaba was acquired on a free, Barcelona have lost Messi, and Juventus still have an unhappy Cristiano Ronaldo to deal with.