The French Champions are the latest to show interest in exit-linked Barcelona star.
PSG are reportedly plotting a move for Barcelona star Lionel Messi, having contacted his father and agent Jorge Messi. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will run out of contract next summer, and hence PSG are looking to agree on a pre-contract with him.
The 33-year-old sent shockwaves around the world when he expressed his desire to leave his boyhood club after around 15 years. In the end, after he had been told that a special clause in his contract – which allows him to leave for at the end of every season – was expired, he decided to stay put at the club. One of the main reasons for his decision to leave the Nou Camp was the presence of then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who Messi believed as the key figure behind Barca’s decline in recent years.
The Blaugrana skipper also went on a tirade at Bartomeu over lack of planning and even claimed that there was no real project at the club.
“I always said I wanted to end here and I always said I wanted to stay here. That I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club, to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona.
“And the truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by. As I said before, I always thought about the welfare of my family and the club.”
Now even with Bartomeu gone, Messi’s stance looks unchanged, and he could force a move out of the Blaugrana this time around.
After last season’s debacle, Ronald Koeman was appointed as the new manager of the Catalan club and the Dutch manager hasn’t impressed much so far. Despite getting rid of deadwood and blooding in some young talents, Koeman has led Barca to an uncompromising start in La Liga, losing against Getafe, Real Madrid while drawing against Alaves and Sevilla. And if Barca fail to claim any of the trophies this season, Messi’s chances of surviving at the club would only wither.
Elsewhere, Neymar’s presence could be instrumental for Les Parisiens to lure Messi away as both superstars have developed a great friendship since their time at Barca. Indeed, Bartomeu’s failure to facilitate the return of Neymar was also said to be one of the reasons for Messi to take a stand against the board.
Although PSG are financially hit, their sporting director Leanardo has recently said that – when addressing Cristiano Ronaldo’s links – the French giants can do expensive signings.
‘The transfer window, we have to prepare for it and that’s what we do. We have our priorities, our lists, but something unforeseen can happen.’
‘Last year we lost between 15 and 20 per cent and this year it will be more.’ ‘But honestly, at PSG, there is the capacity and the means to overcome the crisis.
‘The other clubs will perhaps have more difficulty to overcome the crisis. But the ambition here is always enormous.’
Manchester City are also understood to be another potential suitor for the Argentine skipper as they came close to signing him in the summer transfer window.