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PSG duo headed for the exit amid interests from top clubs

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Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr could be on the way out. |PHOTO: CNN|
  • Lionel Messi was given a two-week suspension following his unapproved vacation to Saudi Arabia.
  • PSG Ultras protest at Neymar’s gate demanding he leaves the club.
  • Is it time up for the former Barcelona teammates?

Paris Saint-Germain has reportedly given Lionel Messi, 35, a two-week suspension following his unapproved vacation to Saudi Arabia.

Due to his ban, the Argentine will miss two games, but reports state that is practically certain that the player won’t play again for PSG.

Messi has less desire to stay at Parc des Princes longer, and the PSG hierarchy is now content with cutting the superstar’s salary from their expenses.

The World Cup winner was supposed to be fully involved in PSG’s final stretch as they attempt to clinch the Ligue 1 championship, but a trip to Saudi Arabia has complicated matters.

Lionel Messi is suspended after taking an unapproved vacation to Saudi Arabia. |PHOTO: ESPN|

Messi was contractually required to travel, but PSG did not give the go-ahead because the trip was being made in the wake of a 3-1 loss to Lorient the previous weekend.

READ: PSG suspends Messi over Saudi Arabia trip

When the team reported for practice, it quickly became clear that Messi wouldn’t be there. Later, he was photographed in the Middle East and shared photos on his Instagram page.

The 35-year-old was thus given a two-week fine and ban, which prevented him from playing in two games but allowed him to return later in the month.

Le Parisien, however, claims that Messi’s inclusion in the team has “little chance.”

If that turns out to be the case, Messi would be forced to sit out the final three games against Auxerre, Strasbourg, and Clermont Foot.

The Argentine international has made a significant contribution to France’s top division this season, making 28 appearances and scoring 15 goals and providing 15 assists.

As of right now, PSG leads the league in points with a five-point advantage.

Lionel Messi could return to Barcelona

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s return to Barcelona is an option. Photo/ Eurosport.

Although the Catalan giants’ former club Barcelona is still a possibility, they would need to make significant budget cuts to make such a deal possible.

By speaking with La Liga about creating greater flexibility in their Financial Fair Play ratio, Barcelona has already made an attempt to amp up their attempts to make Messi a contract offer this summer.

In order to try to re-sign Messi for what is expected to be his final season of European football, the club is in discussions with the league about their spending caps for the upcoming season.

It won’t be simple, though, as Barcelona was forced to re-register Gavi as an academy player after being charged by La Liga for exceeding their limit with three players during the 2021–22 season, including former Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen.

Despite having a successful appeal of the Christensen fine, Barcelona is still at the absolute limit of their financial capacity and will almost certainly need to let players go in order to make room for a Messi return.

The most profitable move would be to a club in Saudi Arabia where Messi could possibly compete against Cristiano Ronaldo. However, if Messi decides to move to the United States, Inter Miami is a known possibility.

Ultras attack Neymar

Protesters camp at Neymar’s gate. |PHOTO: Getty Images|

Neymar, Verratti, and Al-Khelaifi were singled out less than a day after Messi was penalized for travelling to Saudi Arabia on business with his family and following a 3-1 home loss to Lorient in Ligue 1. Neymar even posted on social media to claim that the PSG fans stopped by him before going to the team’s headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt.

They chanted “Neymar, get lost” in front of his house.

Although PSG supporters might have also used the Lionel Messi context to vent their anger at Neymar Jr, this is not unusual for the latter. Over the past five and a half years, he has endured constant, close scrutiny due to his lack of game time.

He has only played 173 times across competitions since joining the Parisians in the summer of 2017. 13 fewer than the 186 goals he accomplished for Barcelona between 2013 and 2017.

Neymar, who was working under new manager Christophe Galtier, started the current campaign off outstandingly, scoring and setting up goals like a pro.

However, the star forward required a stretcher to be removed during PSG’s 4-3 league victory over LOSC Lille in February due to yet another injury. His season was subsequently prematurely terminated by the need for surgery on his ankle, raising more concerns about his future with the team.

It is noteworthy that his current contract at the Parc des Princes is scheduled to end in June 2025.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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