Romano: Messi has accepted PSG two-year contract, with option to extend until 2024
Total agreement completed on a two-years contract. Option to extend until June 2024. Salary around €35m net per season add ons included.
No team would turn down a player of Lionel Messi’s caliber, but his departure from Barcelona – which was linked to the Catalan club’s severe financial situation rather than any signs of his declining talent – allows the Catalan club to reset and refocus on their world-renowned La Masia academy.
Last year, Ronald Koeman recognized Barcelona’s budgetary constraints and put his faith in a number of the club’s young stars, including Pedri, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza, Ilaix Moriba – who may depart this summer owing to a contract dispute with Barcelona – and, before his injury, Ansu Fati. In Messi’s absence next season, the process of developing new players will undoubtedly be expedited.
The problem with having a player like Messi is that Barcelona needed to be competitive and have Champions League ambitions. Now that the 34-year-old has announced his departure from the Camp Nou, the Blaugrana can be set more realistic goals.
Barcelona’s finances are in such a shambles that it’s unclear whether new acquisitions Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia, Sergio Aguero, and Emerson Royal will be able to register in time for the LaLiga Santander opening against Real Sociedad this weekend.
There will undoubtedly be more departures after Messi in the last weeks of the transfer window, with Barcelona still spending about 95% of their earnings on wages when it should be 70%, but this pre-season has demonstrated that several of the club’s young players are ready to step up.
Gavi, Nico Gonzalez, Alejandro Balde, and Yusuf Demir have all demonstrated that they might be useful to Koeman in the 2021/22 season as Barcelona begins a new era at the Camp Nou, one that focuses on the future rather than the present.
Barcelona received accolades from all around the world during Pep Guardiola’s tenure, not just for their outstanding football, but also for the way the team’s core was created around players from La Masia. Given the club’s current financial difficulties, which are unlikely to be alleviated anytime soon, having a coach like Koeman on board will allow the Blaugrana to put together the blueprint for a new-look team.
It’s highly unlikely that Barcelona will win the Champions League next season, as they haven’t done so since 2015, but the previous campaign demonstrated that the experience these young players can gain from playing in Europe will benefit not only them but also the club, as the Catalans prepare to live without their greatest player, Lionel Messi.