Messi, Barcelona latest: Explaining Laporta vs. LaLiga, PSG's interest, FFP implications, what's next

Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirmed what they had said on Thursday, that Lionel Messi would not return to the club after 21 years.The background can be read here. However, Laporta insists that Messi's exit was due to LaLiga's financial limitations and the disastrous finances inherited from Josep Maria Bartomeu, and that there was no way back.- Laporta: Messi's exit: The club is bigger than any playerSource: PSG talks with Messi about transferGuardiola blocks Messi to Man City moveMany see Paris Saint-Germain as being the most likely destination for the 34-year-old Argentine star. However, there is always a but. There are many more to consider.Q: What is the answer? Q: How?A: I wrote yesterday that Messi wants to remain (at least according Laporta), Barcelona wants him to stay, and LaLiga is keen for him to continue. It seems absurd that Messi's future can be decided by three different parties, and all of them want the same thing. There is no way to find a solution.Q: Laporta stated that he expected LaLiga to be flexible with spending caps, but that the league was also under pressure from other clubs to adhere to the rules.A: Yes. Although rules are rules, Messi adds value for the league and many clubs reap the benefits of the trickle-down effect. Even giants such as Real Madrid can see the value in a Clasico that features Messi-less Barca.Jaume Roures agrees.Messi seems to be finished at Barcelona, as the club-league battle over who's to answer. Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty ImagesQ: Who and what is Jaume Roures?A: Roures is a Barcelona "socio", but more importantly, he founded Mediapro, a Spanish media company which deals in sports and film rights. Roures is more connected than others, telling Spanish radio station RAC1 "LaLiga had approved Messi's registration" and that he personally verified it. Roures claims that "something happened... Roures says that "something happened...Q: What could have been?A: It has been speculated that Messi's team wasn't satisfied with the Laporta proposal at the last minute. This could be, as we suggested yesterday that it is a power play by Laporta taking shots at Javier Tebas, LaLiga, and the Super League against the background of the CVC Capital Partners deal.Laporta did mention the CVC deal Friday. He said that LaLiga could not have obtained LaLiga's rubber stamp for the Messi contract if Barcelona had agreed to rubber stamp the CVC agreement. Laporta stated that he was not prepared to do so because it was "in the club's best interests" and would have "mortgaged their future."Play 0:59. Losing Messi is the 'worst nightmare for all Barcelona-related people Martin Ainstein explains how Barcelona felt after Joan Laporta confirmed Lionel Messi had left.Q: It seems as though Laporta and Javier Tebas are trying to blackmail the club by suggesting that LaLiga and their president Javier Tebas were telling Messi they could only approve his contract if they support the CVC deal (which Liga clubs have yet to approve). Is this true?A: Tebas does not believe so. Twitter was the place where he stated that the CVC deal would have helped all clubs, even Barcelona. He implied that Laporta had been on board "until a few minutes ago". It does indeed feel like Messi is a pawn at the CVC dispute.Laporta, however, offered some numbers that don’t seem to add up...Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021Q: What do you like?A: He said that they had done another audit of the club's finances, and found they were much worse off than they thought. Therefore, he didn’t have six months in which to fix Messi's contract. However, it is not a good idea to negotiate without knowing your budget.Laporta stated that they were "at the limit" for what LaLiga rules allow, and that they will still be able to register four new signings, Sergio Aguero (Memphis Depay), Emerson, and Eric Garcia. These four will cost Barcelona $40 million in salaries and another $10m to Emerson's transfer fees. This is $50m, roughly the amount Messi reportedly agreed to reduce his salary to: 20m Euros net or after-tax.Q: It seems like it's a straight decision: the four men or Messi?A: It's not that easy. Laporta noted that the numbers weren't comparable. However, that's what they suggest. Unless Messi was going cost Barca more that they originally thought.Play 1:18 Laurens: Julien Laurens discusses the Lionel Messi poker game and his future at Barcelona.Q: Can Barcelona not try to reduce their wage bill by selling its players or getting them to accept further cuts?A: I would think so. Barca has a difficult time finding new clubs for its unwanted players. They are paid very high wages, and the clubs that could use them cannot afford them. It is understandable that they don't want the prized young players Frenkie de Jong and Pedri to be sacrificed for two more seasons of Messi.Laporta claims they don't have any more "room for maneuver" regarding salary cuts. But, frankly, it is hard to imagine what veteran players such as Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique might say, who are both highly committed to Barcelona and on high wages. "Hey, could you take a cut if that meant playing the last years of your career alongside Messi?"Q: What is Messi's take on all of this?A: He has not spoken yet, so we don't know. It is possible that he would be open to reducing his salary, and he might want to stay. If this is really about LaLiga being more flexible and the CVC deal, then maybe he's willing to support Laporta's actions. You can imagine that he would not appreciate being used in the endless struggle between Barcelona, Tebas.Q: It seems that the potential Messi destinations have been reduced to a minimum...A: Yes. Pep Guardiola stated that Jack Grealish, the new signing, would be receiving the No. PSG is the only club that can afford to pay close to $200m for Messi's wages for the next two years.Q: What is PSG? They have been on a spending spree. They already signed big-money-free agents like Georginio Wieseldum from Liverpool, Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid and Gianluigi Darumma from Milan. They also spent $70m to acquire Achraf Hakimi, Inter's top-rated agent. How are they able to afford all of this?A: Good question. Their wage bill would likely go up even without Messi. And don't forget that they haven't yet extended Kylian Mbappe’s contract which expires June 2022. If he signs a new contract, he'll be earning close to Messi's salary.Messi is regarded as a transformative player. This has helped to raise the club's reputation and opened up new commercial opportunities. He is a great player, and you can see that on the pitch. The club has said that they are considering the situation and PSG boss Mauricio Pchettino, who is also from Rosario, is open to the possibility.- Sources: Messi's Barcelona deal in limbo- Social media reacts in kind to Messi newsMessi timeline: Barcelona's 20-year history broken downIf you were a cynic you would suggest that PSG's Qatari owners see it more as a short-term view with the Qatar World Cup in late 2022.Q: What would Messi look like at PSG?A: It would be a good idea to assume that you are in a front three together with Neymar or Mbappe. It makes no tactical sense, but it is a great way to showcase talent. In recent years, PSG's approach to the game has been very NBA-like: a few superstars with max contracts, a handful of reliable mid-size stars, and a bunch cheaper men to complete the team.(I do so with the greatest respect for Juan Bernat and Leandro Paredes, by the ...)Play 1:52 Could Messi's departure from Barcelona be a bluff? Sam Marsden, a Barcelona correspondent, debates whether Joan Laporta, Barcelona President is seeking a response from LaLiga in the event that Messi leaves.Q: What do you think about financial fair play?A: It's currently suspended because of the COVID-19 impact. UEFA is working on new rules in the long-term, but that's still up in the air. For the moment, it's more about who can raise the money than who can balance their books.Q: What is Messi's appeal to PSG? He has more than enough...A: He'd love to try something new and he's a long-time fan of Pochettino. He also gets to be with Neymar. He can still win the Champions League, but a fifth place must be his priority.Others have suggested that it is a less physically demanding league, which would allow him time to recover and be fully fit for Qatar 2022, where his last chance at the World Cup victory with Argentina. Perhaps there is some truth to that too...My gut feeling is that this is not over. Messi needs to be heard. We must gauge the reaction of Barcelona fans. We need to hear back from Tebas, and, more importantly, from other LaLiga clubs, about how his departure may affect the CVC deal, as well as short-term LaLiga revenue. PSG must be clear that Messi's presence in 2021-22 does not mean Mbappe will be in another team's jersey 2022-23.Maybe I'm romantic but I believe there will be more twists and turns. My gut tells me they'll find a way for him to stay.