Qatar order PSG to re-sign Messi 'at all costs'

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 26 Mar 2023 09:42 BST
  • 3 min read
Lionel Messi, PSG, 2022/23

Lionel Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain this summer, but club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is under strict instructions to extend the Argentine's stay in the French capital 'at all costs'.

Messi will become perhaps the most in-demand free agent in world football in June if he fails to agree fresh terms with PSG, who are backed by Qatar Sports Investments, with Barcelona, Inter Miami and others vying for his signature.

Messi is a club legend at Barca who scored a record 672 goals before leaving on a free to PSG in the summer of 2021 as the Blaugrana struggled with a €1.35 billion debt. A return to Camp Nou has also begun to look more likely.

READ: Barcelona 'must improve Messi relationship' says Laporta

Barca president Joan Laporta said recently that "I need to find a way to improve this relationship between Messi and FC Barcelona," and the player himself is understood to be open to a return.

But Qatar are willing to pull out all the stops to keep him at PSG, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Doha demand Messi stay

"From Doha, the capital of Qatar and where those who really rule at PSG reside, they have given orders to Al-Khelaifi, the president of the Parisian club, to tie up Messi's extension by all possible means," they write.

READ: When does the contract of every PSG player expire?

Messi is currently the second-highest paid player at PSG behind Kylian Mbappe, earning €63.6 million per year before tax to the Frenchman's €72m.

Messi, who won the World Cup in Qatar with Argentina in December, has reportedly been offered close to double Cristiano Ronaldo's €200m a season salary at Al-Nassr by their Saudi rivals Al-Hilal.

Whilst PSG might not go that high, they could afford to lift his pay above Mbappe's, but that could have a ripple effect.

Mbappe was close to joining Real Madrid last year, but U-turned in May, signing a fresh contract with PSG which made him the highest paid players in the world before Ronaldo's move to the Middle East.

Mbappe, now also the France captain, was given unprecedented say in the sporting direction of the club, but if he isn't the highest earner, there is a fear in Paris that his head will be turned by Madrid once again.