CHINA TOPIX

11/30/2021 01:30:30 pm

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Will We Ever See Lionel Messi Heading To China?

A few short weeks ago, Lionel Messi seemed certain to sign a new contract with Barcelona. The Argentine international had been with the Catalan giants for his entire professional career but financial complications meant that it was time to say goodbye.

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The obvious question was where would Messi go next? The media reports suggest that Paris is the most likely destination with PSG agreeing a contract with the striker. Few clubs in world football could meet the player's salary expectations but there are other options. The player has previously been mentioned in connection with a switch to China so could any Super League club be ready to make their move in the future?

The Verdict

Whenever a high profile footballer becomes available for transfer, the sportsbooks become busy. The best sports betting sites attached to sbo.net have a 'next club' market for Lionel Messi and it's dominated by European sides.

Paris Saint-Germain have been widely mentioned as a likely destination for the Argentine and it's no surprise that they were the favourites here. Behind the betting market leaders are Atletico Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan while clubs from America's MLS are also thought to be in contention.

Interestingly, no Chinese club is listed in the top ten. As rumour builds, those markets will be subject to fluctuations and sbo.net will continue to report on any changes to the figures as they come in.

There's lots of opinion on the Messi move and those odds are subject to change. Even when he does sign for PSG, there will be regular updates and you can check back to sbo.net in order to see the latest prices and there will also be news and opinion pieces relating to football and the latest transfer gossip.

Any readers who want to act on their own opinions can take their choice from a panel of sportsbooks. Many have welcome offers plus a choice of funding options and it may also be possible for customers to live stream top sporting events.

China Calling

At the start of 2018, reports began to emerge claiming that Lionel Messi had turned down a lucrative offer to join the Chinese Super League. No specific club was named but the stories suggested that the Argentine had been offered a salary of around 100 million Euros a year.

At the time, those figures would have eclipsed his salary in Spain but Messi turned down the deal. Three more years at Barca have followed and more honours have come his way in the process.

It's widely believed that, while CSL clubs can afford the huge transfer fees and the wage demands of the big-name players, the league simply isn't competitive enough to attract real stars.

China have yet to really make an impression at the FIFA World Cup and the overseas players that do come here are some way past their best. However, those kind of cynical views were recently levelled at Major League Soccer in the United States. In the present day, the MLS is taken far more seriously and that pattern should follow in relation to the Chinese Super League.

A signing of Messi's stature would also prove to be a breakthrough for Chinese domestic soccer and it would lead to more players making the switch to the CSL. The funds are there but is this likely to become a reality?

Where Next for Lionel Messi?

The truth is that Paris Saint-Germain can offer Lionel Messi everything that he wants. Of course there is the salary to negotiate but this is one of the richest club sides in the world and one of the few that could provide the funding for such a deal.

PSG are competitive on the European stage but have yet to win the Champions League. That will be the immediate aim for a club that already fields some of the biggest names in the game. Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Messi's old Barcelona colleague Neymar are already in the squad.

That's a powerful unit and the addition of Messi would surely help them achieve their targets. The player is 34 now and, maybe in two year's time when his PSG deal ends, he may consider a switch to the Chinese Super League.

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