One of the biggest soccer superstars could be playing for a new club team with talks between Barcelona and Lionel Messi now falling apart.
What Happened: Messi will not continue playing for Barcelona, according to sports journalist Fabrizio Romano.
“Despite having reached an agreement between Barca and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalize due to economic and structural obstacles,” FC Barcelona said.
A deal was reported to be close this week and could not be tied up with Barcelona worried about its financial future.
Reports say Barcelona is unwilling to accept a deal to sell 10% of the team’s commercial business to private equity company CVC Capital Partners as it would prevent joining a super league in the future. Without the funds, the team is said to not be able to afford Messi.
Potential Landing Spots: Re-signing with Barcelona is still on the table and could end up being what happens at the end of the process.
BetFair lists a new team as the favorite to have Messi in uniform later this year. Paris Saint-Germain of the Ligue 1 in France has odds of -125 to land Messi.
Barcelona is listed with odds of +200 to sign Messi followed by Man City at +600.
Others that are available to bet on are MLS team +1600, Manchester United MANU +2000, Chelsea +2200, Juventus Football Club JVTSF and Newell’s Old Boys (Argentina boyhood team of Messi) +2500.
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Betting Odds Moving: Along with wagers offered on a landing spot for Messi, sports betting operators are reacting to how his move could affect league winners.
The odds for Barcelona to win the La Liga went from +120 to +225 at DraftKings Inc DKNG. Rival Real Madrid is now the listed favorite at +100.
Paris Saint-Germain is the favorite to win the Ligue 1 with odds of -650.
The Champions League is seeing odds change with Manchester City now favored at +300 followed by PSG at +350, Bayern Munich +550, Liverpool +750 and Chelsea at +800. Barcelona odds to win the Champions League are offered at +1800, the ninth-best odds.
Stocks to Watch: One company that could lose with Messi leaving Barcelona is the Walt Disney Co DIS. Its ESPN unit paid $1.4 billion in an eight-year deal to land the rights to La Liga on ESPN/ABC and the ESPN+ streaming platform.
The Roundhill MVP ETF MVP owns stakes in several soccer teams, including some potential landing spots of Messi. Manchester United and Juventus are both top five holdings in the ETF and could benefit from landing Messi or having better odds to win the Champions League.
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