Lionel Messi’s £95MILLION salary – more than Neymar and Kylian Mbappe earn COMBINED – mean even super-rich PSG say it is ‘impossible’ to sign Barcelona star thanks to coronavirus financial woes
- Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has told the Catalan club he wants to leave
- Several of Europe’s heavyweight clubs are keen on signing him, including PSG
- But the French side are facing financial woes which makes signing Messi difficult
- The coronavirus pandemic has depleted PSG’s finances for the 2020-21 season
Lionel Messi’s enormous salary means a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain this summer is ‘impossible’, according to reports in France.
It was announced on Tuesday night that the Barcelona captain handed in a transfer request to the Catalan side in a move that has stunned the world of football.
Messi could even leave on a free transfer if he wins a legal battle to activate a clause in his contract that would allow him to walk away for no fee. However, Barcelona claim that clause expired in June, meaning he or his new employers could have to pay his £630million release clause.
Lionel Messi’s £95million-a-year wages mean it is impossible for PSG to sign him this summer
The French champions are currently facing financial woes due to the coronavirus pandemic
Super-rich PSG, who are effectively owned by the Qatari state, are one of Europe’s heavyweight clubs on high-alert to move for the Argentinian star, who is regarded by many as the best player of all time.
But, according to L’Equipe, Messi’s £64m-a-year basic wages means the Ligue 1 champions cannot afford to sign him this summer, even if the Barcelona star was available on a free transfer.
Thomas Tuchel’s side already have attacking stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who earn less money in a year combined that Messi does.
Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona in a world-record £198m transfer in 2017, earns around £33m per year while Mbappe earns around £19m.
PSG also have Neymar (left) and Kylian Mbappe (right) on their very high wage bill
Messi (above) earns more money per year than both Mbappe and Neymar combined
In reality, Messi earns even more per year than that £64m basic wage.
Messi’s fixed salary totals £64m (€71m) but bonuses for signing, for staying, and for winning trophies takes the figure well above that.
Just by playing 60 per cent of games until the 2021 date his contract ends sees Messi earn on average £95m (€106m) a season but the potential – if he were to win the treble and win FIFA’s player of the year award – exists to push the final figure over the £110m (€122m) mark.
The report says that the coronavirus pandemic and lack of fans in behind-closed-door matches means PSG are in the red-zone in terms of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, despite being owned by Qatar Sports Investments.
The club’s run to the Champions League final this month has eased financial concerns, but the club are been forced to release key stars Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani on free transfers due to their high wages.
Overall, PSG are understood to have made a £107m loss in the 2019-20 season, with these financial issues set to continue into the 2020-21 season, as the French government has placed a 5,000 supporter limit on matches for next term.
A 5,000 limit of France crowd sizes means PSG will continue to suffer financially this season
PSG have been forced to let high-earners Thiago Silva (left) and Edinson Cavani (right) go
Other clubs linked to Messi this summer include Premier League side Manchester City, who are managed by the superstar’s former coach at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola.
Italian side Inter Milan are also understood to be keen on signing Messi and were linked to making a move for him even before the player’s row with Barcelona became public knowledge.
Messi has scored 634 career goals in 731 matches for Barcelona, the club he has played for his entire career and has won six Ballon d’Or trophies with.
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