Reports: Lionel Messi set to stay at PSG for another season after World Cup win

Lionel Messi’s potential MLS arrival may not be imminent.

According to multiple reports, Messi has verbally agreed to extend his contract with Paris Saint-German for another season. Messi is in the second year of a two-year deal with the French giants and could have started negotiating a new deal with another club in January. Soccer contracts generally allow players to freely negotiate with other clubs with six months remaining on their contracts.

A report emerged during the World Cup that Messi was closing in on a deal to move to MLS in the summer and join Inter Miami. Messi has long been mentioned as a player who could move to MLS at some point and his name has continuously been linked to the team owned by David Beckham.

The November report said Messi would be the highest-paid player in MLS history when he moved to Inter Miami over the summer. If or when Messi moves to Inter Miami — perhaps after the conclusion of the 2023-24 season? — he will still likely be the league’s highest-paid player. It’s not like his profile has diminished at all over the last few weeks.

The World Cup showed that Messi is still at or near the top of his game. He was incredible as Argentina bounced back from a tournament-opening defeat to Saudi Arabia to win the World Cup. It was the country’s first World Cup title since 1986 and the win can serve as a validation for Messi’s case to be the best player ever.

Did that World Cup success sway Messi to stay in Europe? PSG is far and away the best team in France’s Ligue 1 but is still chasing an elusive Champions League title. With Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar up front, PSG boasts the best attacking trio in all of club soccer.

Messi won the Champions League four times at Barcelona before he moved to PSG on a free transfer in the summer of 2021. He’s scored 11 goals and notched 14 assists across 18 Ligue 1 and Champions League games in 2022.

PSG has another tough draw in the Champions League this season too. PSG faces perennial German champions Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 after losing to eventual champions Real Madrid in the first knockout round a season ago. PSG won the first leg of that matchup 1-0 before losing 3-1 in the second leg to lose the tie.

PSG's Lionel Messi controls the ball during the Champions League group H soccer match between Juventus and Paris Saint Germain at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
PSG's Lionel Messi controls the ball during the Champions League group H soccer match between Juventus and Paris Saint Germain at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)