Paris Saint-Germain are ‘confident’ of securing the signing of Lionel Messi as the Argentine icon decides on his next move after leaving Barcelona, according to reports.
Barcelona dropped the bombshell news on Thursday that Messi would not be signing a new deal with the club due to financial obstacles, leaving the 34-year-old in search of a club to start next season with.
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The destination most readily linked to the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been Paris, where moneymen PSG – bankrolled by their Qatari backers – would likely be able to stump up the kind of wages that the star would command.
Rumbles from the French press had suggested that PSG might struggle to balance the books with Messi on board, considering they already have Neymar on a hefty pay packet and are looking to tie down Kylian Mbappe to a new deal, although reports now indicate that PSG could find a formula they believe allows them to bring the Argentine icon in.
“Paris Saint-Germain are confident since last hours to sign Leo Messi,” tweeted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano on Friday.
“Negotiations are progressing well – up to Financial Fair Play approval, PSG are convinced they can complete the agreement soon.”
Paris Saint-Germain are confident since last hours to sign Leo Messi. Negotiations are progressing well – up to Financial Fair Play approval, PSG are convinced they can complete the agreement soon. ??? #PSGThere’s no contact from Chelsea as of now – #CFC are focused on Lukaku. https://t.co/QLgy8kg6mW
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 6, 2021
Elsewhere, reports suggested that Messi to PSG was as good as a done deal.
“Lionel Messi at PSG, almost completed agreement. The decision of the Argentinian is taken: he wants Paris and is about to sign up for the club in the capital,” wrote journalist Saber Desfarges.
It had earlier been claimed that Chelsea – backed by the billions of Russian owner Roman Abramovich – could enter the fray, although transfer specialist Romano tweeted that there had thus far been “no contact” from the London club.
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Another team with deep pockets tipped as a possible destination were Premier League champions Manchester City, although manager Pep Guardiola – who famously enjoyed success with Messi in a golden era at Barcelona – played down that idea earlier on Friday.
Pointing to City’s record recent acquisition of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100 million ($138 million), Guardiola said: “We spent £40 million on Jack Grealish. We paid £100 million and brought £60 million [from selling/loaning players].
“He will wear the number 10 because we were convinced with Grealish and we were were convinced Leo would continue at Barcelona, so right now [Messi] is not in our thoughts.”
?️ “Right now it is not on our thoughts…”Pep Guardiola responds to suggestions Manchester City could make a move for free agent Lionel Messipic.twitter.com/uiGMS8x1Z4
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) August 6, 2021
One draw for Messi in Paris would be the chance to link up again with former Barca teammate Neymar, who is said to have offered him his number 10 shirt if the Argentine arrives this summer.