Lionel Messi is “much more likely” to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season than sign a new deal, a source close to the club told AFP on Tuesday.
“The dynamics have completely changed with PSG less pushing to renew (his contract),” the source said, adding that there was “no deal, no exit yet. But exit is much more likely.”
World Cup winner Messi, who will turn 36 in June, joined in 2021 on a two-year deal which expires at the end of this campaign.
On Sunday, the Argentine’s name was jeered by some PSG fans as the teams were announced prior to the 1-0 home defeat against Lyon.
Supporters of the Qatar-owned club are unhappy at the malaise around the team since they were eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16 by Bayern Munich last month.
“The fans have changed things completely,” the source said of the chances of Messi’s deal being renewed.
Messi has scored 29 goals and set up 32 more in 67 appearances for PSG in all competitions.
Barcelona have been openly courting Messi, hoping to persuade the Argentine to return to the Camp Nou two years after he left the club where he won four Champions League titles, when it could not afford to renew his contract.
“I would love it if he returned,” Barca vice-president Rafael Yuste said last week as he admitted there had been “contact” with Messi.
He has also been linked with a possible move to Major League Soccer where Inter Miami are said to be interested in signing him.