Paris Saint-Germain have put contract talks with Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos on hold amid concerns they will face fresh Champions League sanctions for further Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.
PSG were one of 10 clubs fined for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules for the 2020-21 season. They paid out a €10million fine while having a further €45m suspended pending future accounts, with further punishments possible.
PSG have been posting record losses in recent years with their most recent set of accounts showing €370m in losses. Messi and Ramos are among their highest earning stars and with both out of contract this summer, the club must make tough financial decisions.
Possible sanctions could include the French club being unable to register any new players to their European squad for next season and a possible reduction in the size of their registered squad for European competition dropping from 25 to 23.
There is also a distant threat that the club could be expelled from European competition entirely, as reported by Diario AS. The soonest that could happen would be by the 2024/25 campaign and would be as the result of sustained losses in that timeframe – meaning that their wage bill needs to be cut drastically in the meantime.
Prior to the club tying down Kylian Mbappe to a new three-year contract extension last summer, Messi was the best-paid player in the world. The Argentine’s first year in Paris saw him take home an annual salary of £25.5million (€30m), although this increased to £34million (€40m) for the current and final year of his two-year deal in Paris. It is claimed that Messi has received more than €1,000m throughout his career – more than any other player.
Have Your Say! What should PSG do over the contract situations for Messi and Ramos? Tell us what you think here.
Like Messi, Ramos is out of contract this summer. Now aged 36, Ramos impressed in PSG’s Champions League elimination this week but the club have a deal lined up to sign Milan Skriniar from Inter while they want to sign Pau Torres from Villarreal. That may mean Ramos, barring a drastic wage reduction, is moved on.
A report from L’Équipe has outlined how PSG want to keep Messi and Ramos at the club with informal discussions opened but the FFP pressures and threat of sanctions may mean new deals are not feasible. The club are aware of an urgent need to restructure their squad and finances, so new contracts have been put on hold until definitive decisions have been reached.
Alongside Mbappe’s new deal last year, PSG also signed Portugal international midfield duo Renato Sanches and Vitinha from Lille and Porto respectively, alongside midfielder Carlos Soler from Valencia. They also added striker Hugo Ekitike (Reims) and defender Nordi Mukiele (RB Leipzig) while making Nuno Mendes’s loan move from Sporting CP permanent.