The summer transfer window is always an exciting time in football. It is a time when fabulous sums change hands and players switch clubs for at least a season. This year, in turn, nobody expected earth-shattering transfers to show up in the soccer news as clubs are still recovering after a disastrous 2020. Then, the news of two potential high-profile transfers emerged, involving two of the most revered players of our times: Messi and Mbappé. Except, apparently, none of them will happen.
Last month, Kylian Mbappé was quoted saying he didn’t want to stay with Paris Saint Germain anymore. The player has joined the Parisian club in 2018 after spending a season there on loan from AS Monaco. His great performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup convinced PSG to make it permanent.
Mbappé’s stay at PSG is a true success story. He helped the team win three Ligue 1 seasons, he was the top scorer of the league in three seasons and won pretty much every award possible. Then, for some reason, he decided it was time for him to leave, something he has recently spoken to the press about.
With 2020 shaking football to its roots, leaving huge gaps in the clubs’ purses, finding a club that could afford Mbappé’s hefty exit clause could be tricky this year. Still, apparently, a couple of contenders – including Liverpool and Real Madrid – emerged, ready to sign the 22-year-old Frenchman.
Now, in turn, the transfer may not happen: PSG has reportedly prepared a new offer for Mbappé, one that would match his salary with Neymar’s (around £27 million or €31.5 million) and other, yet undisclosed benefits. Details about the offer – and whether or not the Frenchman will accept it – are scarce, at least until he returns from his summer break.
Lionel Messi joined Barcelona as a youth and he never left – he spent a total of 21 years at the club (3 years as a youth). That until his last contract expired at the end of June, and he didn’t sign an extension, becoming a free agent and making the world wonder where he’d go next.
Messi had some run-ins with Barca’s leadership last year. At one point, he was ready to leave Camp Nou for good – but missed his moment, so he stuck around. Instead of leaving, he decided to wait until his contract expired, leaving everyone guessing where he’s headed next.
In the meantime, Barca’s leadership changed, with Joan Laporta replacing Josep Maria Bartomeu as president. And, apparently, the two parties have reached a preliminary agreement where Messi accepted a 50% pay cut and will sign a five-year contract keeping him at Camp Nou in another transfer that never happened.