Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is out of contract at the end of the season and his future may lie elsewhere. AFP/CHRISTOF STACHE

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi will be out of contract at the end of the current season, and it appears as though Paris Saint-Germain are willing to make him an improved offer to convince him to extend for another 12 months. However, they are facing some tough competition from other interested suitors.

PSG are known to do "whatever it takes" to get their way in the transfer market. They were able to bring together the two former captains of bitter rivals FC Barcelona (Messi) and Real Madrid (Sergio Ramos) in the same transfer window. The Qatar-owned Ligue 1 giants were also able to convince Kylian Mbappe to postpone his dream of joining Los Blancos.

Now, they are reportedly ready to go to extreme lengths to convince the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner to extend for another season. The 35-year-old has been keeping his cards close to his chest, and has not shown many clues about his plans to stay or not. However, it is clear that he has not signed a new deal as of now.

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, PSG are ready to allow Messi to dictate his terms for an extension, and the negotiations will involve a "blank cheque."

While there is no doubt that the club's owners have the funds to pay an eye-watering amount, this report may not be entirely accurate. PSG are already in hot water due to possible breaches of financial fair play regulations, meaning they will need to be able to justify any money that they will be spending in the summer.

FC Barcelona still hoping for a comeback

Meanwhile, another club that is in hot pursuit of Messi is FC Barcelona. Incidentally, the Catalan giants have also fallen foul of La Liga's FFP requirements. The club is still struggling financially, and things have not changed much since they failed to offer a new contract to Messi because they no longer had room in the salary cap in 2021.

Nevertheless, Barcelona Vice-President Rafa Yuste has confirmed that the club is in talks with Messi's camp over a possible comeback. Manager Xavi Hernandez has also been vocal about wanting to see his former teammate back at the Camp Nou.

In order to make this happen, Barcelona has reportedly become creative in their offer. Messi's salary will be at the minimum, but he will still stand to gain a fortune out of income derived through other means such as gate receipts and merchandise sales. It is unclear if La Liga will make a fuss about this arrangement if it comes to fruition.

The Middle East enters the battle

While Barcelona are struggling to get their finances in order, one of their rivals for Messi's signature has no such troubles. Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal have long been linked with interest for the Argentine, and they have been making some noise once more.

It may be remembered that another Saudi Arabian team, Al Nassr, shook the football world in January after signing Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. The latter fell out with Manchester United late last year, and after his contract with the Red Devils was terminated on mutual consent, Al-Nassr swooped in to sign the prolific forward.

Needless to say, the move has put Al-Nassr on the world map, with the club's name now frequently trending all over the world. Their rivals, Al Hilal are not about to let them take all the glory, recent reports are claiming that they want to make Messi an offer that is even better than Ronaldo's £173m annual salary. Messi's father Jorge, who also acts as his agent, has been spotted in Saudi Arabia in recent months, meaning this story may not be too far off from the truth.

Inter Miami still maintains interest for double deal

Over at the other side of the world, Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami has not given up hope of signing both Messi and current FC Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets. Both veterans will see their contracts expire this summer, and Inter Miami are hoping that they will follow the lead of many other European footballers who played the final years of their careers in the United States.

Messi has a number of suitors who can offer more lucrative deals, but he has close ties to Miami. The Argentine often heads to the city whenever he has some time during the off-season, and has long been known to own property there. He takes his family to Miami on vacations, and it is a well-known fact that he values his family's comfort when making professional decisions.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are keen on offering Busquets an extension, but they can only do it on a reduced salary. Now in the twilight of his career, Busquets will likely want to seek out a better deal that can help guarantee his financial future.

Inter Miami owner David Beckham and manager Phil Neville, both legends in Europe, have confirmed their interest in bringing the two stars to Florida. It remains to be seen what will happen in a few months' time, with this summer likely to be a very interesting period in the transfer market.