While the Winter Mercato serves as an adaptation for clubs, the battles against the best players on the planet have already begun. Because tomorrow starts today.
Barcelona and Miami will wait! : Messi one more year
In Paris, both on and off the pitch (he lives in Neuilly), the world champion should be a Parisian whose contract still runs out in 2023/2024.
If Barcelona’s Joan Laporta bids farewell to Catalonia for a final deal that would allow Messi to come full circle, the Argentine world champion’s future is no longer written in Spanish. With an extra year at the end of his contract, PSG are hoping to extend it for at least another year, maybe more.
After a first season that raised some doubts about his return to form, the level of performance in Qatar and earlier in the first part of L1 confirmed that Pulga is still under the pedal. Although other options are possible, a first meeting with President Al-Khelaifi is planned to finalize this extension at the beginning of the year. David Beckham, who is in Qatar, has intervened as the owner of MLS franchise Inter Miami, which Messi has repeatedly mentioned as a possible destination. He owns an apartment there at the end of his career.
Will Messi really leave Paris?
But PSG’s former England player, who is also Qatar’s ambassador, will not oblige at the risk of undermining one of his main sources of funding. Unless, now that the World Cup is over, Qatar decide to shift their investment to the US, which will host the next World Cup in 2026 (along with Mexico and Canada), and make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS.
After the Qatar triumph, the trend was his third and final year at PSG before crossing the Atlantic at the age of 36. Knowing that he still had a lot to gain in terms of sport, a 5th Champions League and a possible 8th Ballon d’Or, the best player in the world descended from the Qatari cloud, probably waiting to go. again for the final round.
Real or City: Mbappe released in 2023 with one condition…
By cutting his holiday short to await his return to PSG, the France international has sent a strong signal to all those who fear a post-Qatar decompression. After failing to win the World Cup in 2022, he wound up like clockwork to win the Champions League in 2023. And only after that Paris was able to close the page.
The France international, who is linked with PSG until 2024 and is tied for an extra year, will not stay at the club this summer if they can win the Champions League. The transfer would be around €300 million and would obviously break all records, the last being Neymar’s €222 million transfer from Barça to PSG. Real Madrid remains the most likely destination, even if that price discourages the Madrid leaders.
After making a clear choice of heart by staying in Paris in 2022, he intends to make a sports choice in 2023, provided he fulfills his contract with PSG. QSI’s arch-rival Manchester City is another club that has the financial and sporting capabilities to attract our national Kiki to form a duo with Haaland, who will not be able to envy the best years of the Catalan MSN.
A way to get away from the increasingly intrusive shadow of a Messi who is set to stay. The nature of the relationship between the two stars at the end of the season, who both covet the next Ballon d’Or with equal fury, may also depend on Mbappe’s future.
Ounahi, Amrabat, Bounou, Ziyech, Boufal: Atlas Lions on all fronts
The Moroccan saga in Qatar has exploded the appeal and value of its most iconic players. The most desired middle metronome remains Sofyan Amrabat. Bought by Fiorentina from Hellas Verona in January 2020 for €20m, he is currently worth twice that amount for what Liverpool and Atletico Madrid seem willing to spend.
At 26, under contract until June 2024, the former Utrecht, Feyenoord and FC Bruges player is about to sign the deal of his life. On a different register, almost two months ago, if we had said that the anonymous player of Angers, Azzedine Ounahi, the red light of L1, would have a share of the fight between Leicester, Barça and West Ham around the transfer of 25. M€, even though he was valued at just 4 M€ before the World Cup, he obviously wouldn’t believe it.
Boufal, Ounahi, Moroccans were awarded in League 1
However, reality Mercato quickly caught up with this tireless and inspired midfielder who had the chance to leave France in the winter. Under contract until 2026, aged 22, he was about to change sizes, too. Already older (29) and experienced in La Liga and the Premier League, Angers teammate Sofyane Boufal has one last chance to show he deserves better than maintenance in L1. He dreams of La Liga.
In the fight to maintain their place in the elite, SCO Angers will certainly not be separated from their two main assets this winter. The most valuable Ounahi will leave earlier… Hakim Ziyech, who has a contract with Chelsea until 2025, and Bounou (31), who also has a contract with Sevilla FC until June 2025, are two other Moroccan heroes who could switch positions. this summer is more certain. He will not be retained by the Blues in the event of a first, solid offer being pursued by AC Milan for a €15m transfer.
Since the latter, later recognized as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, will be transferred for a reasonable price of around 15 M€, Real and several English clubs are ready to turn him into a golden bridge.
Nkunku no longer owns the Blues
Here’s one that doesn’t need to stand out in Qatar. With Pogba and N’Golo Kante on the presidential plane to attend the Blues final, Christopher Nkunku discussed what he will discover next season with the other two main players from around the world in this Premier League. Because if Kante doesn’t join Barça, he is set to be welcomed by Chelsea, where the top scorer in the Bundesliga is the subject of a €60m transfer.
From PSG, where he trained, to Chelsea, where his international orbit was planned, he established himself at RB Leipzig. Before the knee injury, he showed his presence in the French group with 17 goals and 6 assists in 29 matches since the beginning of the season.
They confirmed 35 goals and 16 assists in 52 matches last season, which established him as more than an attacking alternative for Deschamps. The party was postponed from 2024 for the Euros, which could have been in 2022 with the attractive attacking trident of Griezmann-Mbappé-Nkunku.