Lionel Messi is reportedly likely to stay put at PSG beyond the summer transfer window despite recent links with former club Barcelona.

According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Lionel Messi is poised to stay put at Paris Saint-Germain beyond the summer transfer window. The former Barcelona captain has recently been linked with the Blaugrana, but will likely honour his contract with Les Parisiens unless they sell him.

Lionel Messi is a name that does not need any introduction. A player who has transcended the sport to become one of the most well-known figures globally, the Argentine enjoyed a legendary career with Barcelona, including tens of trophies and a mind-boggling tally of  672 goals and 301 assists in 778 appearances.

But the 34-year-old’s stint with Barcelona came to an abrupt and shocking end last summer when he departed Camp Nou after the Blaugrana could not sign him to a renewal in time. Messi then became a highly sought-after player in the transfer market before joining PSG in a popular transfer. But the move has not worked out as envisioned.

While Messi has a league-high 11 assists in 18 Ligue 1 appearances, his output in front of goal has left a lot to be desired. While he did score five goals in seven UEFA Champions League outings, Messi tended to go missing in crunch situations before PSG’s elimination at the hands of Real Madrid last week.

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PSG fans have since made their feelings known on the club’s ouster from European competition, relentlessly booing Messi and most other players during the win over Bordeaux this past weekend. Supporters even drew graffiti at PSG’s training complex to demand Messi’s exit from the club, less than a year after greeting him at the airport upon his arrival in Paris.

Recent reports suggested that Messi dreams of returning to Barcelona, with his father contacting the Blaugrana to discuss a possible transfer. But according to SPORT, Messi will honour his contract with PSG instead of rejoining Barcelona in the summer.

The report further adds that Messi will only return to Barcelona in a non-playing capacity, meaning Barcelona fans can stop dreaming about a popular second coming in the 2022/23 season. In all likelihood, Messi looks set to spend the next campaign with PSG before making a decision on his future in 2023.

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