Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi was named The Best FIFA men's player for 2022 on Monday, with Alexia Putellas taking the women's honour AFP / FRANCK FIFE

There are still several months before the end of the season, but speculations are already swirling around Paris Saint-Germain FC and the club's summer transfer window plans. In particular, questions are being asked about whether or not they will be extending the contracts of two high-profile stars, namely Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos.

The former FC Barcelona and Real Madrid captains both arrived at the Parc des Princes in shock moves during a sensational summer for PSG back in 2021. It may be remembered that the pair arrived riding the hype of PSG's bid to secure their maiden UEFA Champions League trophy.

Messi and Ramos have won the UCL eight times between them, with four trophies each. The Argentine won in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015 all with FC Barcelona. Meanwhile, Ramos won the top-tier European competition with Real Madrid in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

However, despite the massive hype, PSG have recently crashed out of the Champions League once again. This season, they bowed out in the round-of-16 at the hands of German giants Bayern Munich.

As such, the desired effect of both superstars has not been achieved, especially since PSG has made a very public mission of achieving European success.

How Ramos found himself in Paris

Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos scores for Paris Saint-Germain AFP / FRANCK FIFE

In the 2020-21 season, expectations were high that Ramos would extend his stay at Real Madrid, especially since cementing his position as a club legend in recent years. He was a well-respected captain both on and off-the pitch, and most people believed that he would finish his career at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, his final six months with Los Blancos was riddled with injury, and the club stood firm on their policy of only offering single-year extensions to players over the age of 30. Ramos and his brother/agent did not accept the terms that were offered by the club in January. When summer approached, they were forced to return with their tails between their legs only to find out that the offer was no longer on the table.

The club set up an emotional farewell for the Spaniard, and it did not take long for PSG to snatch him up. However, he spent most of the first half of his two-year deal regaining his fitness. He made his debut several months into the 2021-22 season and struggled to string together multiple matches in his first few months. His second season has been better, but he is still a shadow of his former self.

Who can afford Lionel Messi?

Meanwhile, Messi ended up in Paris because his former club, FC Barcelona, were not able to offer him a contract extension due to their financial crisis. They could no longer re-sign their captain even if he agreed to a salary reduction. In fact, after cutting wages throughout the entire organisation and playing squad, Barcelona still struggled to get within the La Liga salary cap.

Messi said that he wanted to stay at Barcelona and fully believed that it was possible before club president Joan Laporta broke the bad news late in the summer. PSG then came in to unite Messi with Ramos, the two captains of the biggest clubs in Spain.

It was so unthinkable and impressive, but the results have not been as glorious as expected. Messi also struggled in his first year playing for a club that isn't Barcelona. While his second season has been better, most of his success has been with Argentina, not on the club level.

The pair will be out of contract at the end of the current season, and one or both of them may no longer be in PSG's plans moving forward especially if the club decides on a major overhaul due to the Champions League disaster.

What's holding PSG back?

PSG have a reputation of being big spenders, thanks to being state owned by Qatar. However, FIFA is cracking down on their spending, especially with Financial Fair Play regulations being pointed out by rival clubs.

Even though their owners have massive wealth, the Daily Mirror reports that the club itself has posted losses amounting to £370m a year. This means that they could face FFP sanctions if they do not trim their wage bill.

This leads to the question on whether or not they can afford to offer extensions to the two veterans. Either Messi or Ramos, possibly even both could be offloaded to slash wage costs significantly. They will also want to rethink their strategy if they wish to achieve their Champions League dream. The current formula has clearly not worked, meaning massive changes in the squad may soon take place.