Officially a free agent after his Barcelona contract expired at the end of June, the best odds on Lionel Messi are intriguing right now. Will the Argentine superstar stay at the Nou Camp, or will he seek a new challenge as he enters the twilight of his career?
Messi has put talk of his future to one side so far this summer, concentrating on the Copa America with Argentina. That certainly paid off for his national team, as the Rosario-born legend starred for his country to lift his first ever piece of international silverware.
That leaves Messi with very little left to achieve in the game. He has won a glittering array of honours, including 10 La Liga, seven Copa del Rey and four Champions League titles, not to mention a glut of individual awards.
Indeed, he is the favourite to win his record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or in 2021, with more of the best odds on Lionel Messi available here. Barcelona may have endured a poor season by their standards, winning only the Copa del Rey, but Messi scored 38 goals in 47 appearances for the Catalan giants before his heroics for Argentina in Brazil this summer.
The iconic No 10 was instrumental in delivering a first major trophy for his country in nearly 30 years, since they last won the Copa America back in 1993. Messi finished as the tournament’s top scorer with four goals, while also contributing the most assists, creating the most chances, making the most key passes and completing the highest number of successful dribbles.
This shows the diminutive forward is still capable of producing the goods at the highest level, despite turning 34 towards the end of June. The question in the best odds on Lionel Messi is whether he has the appetite to stay at Barcelona and help continue the rebuild at the Nou Camp, or seek pastures new now he’s free to discuss terms with any club he chooses?
There will surely be a short holiday and period of rest, but you can bet your bottom euro the cogs will be turning in the background. Father and agent Jorge Messi was a central figure in last summer’s saga, when his son asked to leave Barcelona in the belief he had a clause which released him from his contract.
Barca disputed this, and now with Messi’s ally Joan Laporta back in charge as president, the Blaugrana will fancy their chances of persuading their star attraction to stay once again. The catch, however, is that Barcelona are skint, and they need to free up some funds within their playing squad in order to pay Messi’s colossal wages.
The Argentine may be forced to take a pay cut wherever he ends up, given the astronomical figures involved. How this affects the best odds on Lionel Messi remains to be seen. His base salary is thought to be at least €70m, although this rises to something approaching double that if recent reports are to be believed.
For all their riches, surely even the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City will be unable to pay those sort of wages and still conform to Financial Fair Play regulations, sham though they may be.
Best odds on Lionel Messi
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Premier League champions City are the favourites in the best odds on Lionel Messi. Blues boss Pep Guardiola managed Messi at Barcelona, during arguably the best period of both men’s careers. City have targeted Messi for many years, and they are 11/2 to finally land their man this summer.
PSG are 6/1 with William Hill as part of the best odds on Lionel Messi. The French outfit lost their Ligue 1 crown to Lille last season, and they’re looking for significant reinforcements to get back on track both domestically and in the Champions League. The presence of former team mate Neymar in Paris is attractive to Messi, and PSG are one of the few European clubs who could afford him.
Manchester United would consider themselves part of that select group financially capable of luring Messi to their club. However, the Old Trafford outfit have already splashed out big money on Jadon Sancho this summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side out at 50/1 to sign Messi.
Serie A could be an interesting destination for Messi following a resurgence in both the league and the Italian national team’s fortunes. Champions Inter are 25/1 in the best odds on Lionel Messi, while Juventus are 33/1 in what would be a stunning unification with old rival Cristiano Ronaldo, should the Portuguese stay in Turin.
The United States may also be appealing, should Messi decide his time at the elite level of European football has come to an end. You can get 20/1 on the Argentine joining any MLS club. Newell’s Old Boys, meanwhile, are 12/1 in the best odds on Lionel Messi. That would be a romantic return to Rosario for the city’s most famous son, and cannot be completely ruled out at this stage.