Paris Saint-Germain is ready to offer Lionel Messi a three-year contract to move to the French capital, sources told ESPN, and they feel the deal is close after positive initial conversations with Messi’s representatives.
Earlier this Friday, the PSG coach, Mauricio Pochettino, confirmed that signing the 34-year-old “was a possibility” and sources have told ESPN that more negotiations with Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, are planned for Monday, or possibly sooner.
The deal, according to sources, could have an impact on the future of PSG’s Kylian Mbappé and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
Sources told ESPN that PSG approached Messi on Thursday after Barca’s unexpected announcement that it would not sign a new deal with them. PSG sporting director Leonardo and president Nasser al Khelaifi are heavily involved in talks with Messi as they have been in contact with his father Jorge for some time.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of PSG’s Ligue 1 season opener, Pochettino confirmed that information. “Of course [fichar a Messi] it is a possibility, “he said.” The club is working on it and if there is any information we will communicate it as soon as possible.
Sources added that Messi’s addition to PSG would increase the chances that Mbappé, who is out of contract next summer, will sign a new long-term contract with the club. This would damage Real Madrid’s hopes of signing the 22-year-old for free next summer.
Messi’s arrival in Ligue 1 would also mean that PSG would end their interest in signing Manchester United midfielder Pogba, meaning he would exhaust his contract at Old Trafford before becoming a free agent next summer.
PSG have long expressed their wishes to sign Messi since announcing in August 2020 that they wanted to leave the Camp Nou. Sources have told ESPN that while on vacation in Ibiza with Messi, PSG’s Neymar persuaded him to join the club. Messi also had conversations with Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Marco Verratti on the subject. PSG owner Tamim bin Hamad is eager to bring Messi to the club and sources have told ESPN that will keep you informed of all conversations. Bin Hamad has wanted to sign Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo since he bought the club in 2011.
However, PSG will have serious financial consequences if it manages to attract Messi to the club. While he is a free agent after exhausting his contract with Barca, the 34-year-old would still have a great deal in terms of salaries, commissions, a subscription fee and bonuses.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Friday that he does not want to generate false hope about the chances of Messi returning, adding that no one is bigger than the club.
“I don’t want to create false hope,” Laporta said. “During the course of the negotiations, we have learned of other offers for Messi. There was a time limit, for us and for them, because they need time.
“The leagues are starting. I am not willing to mortgage the club for 50 years for anyone. The decision is made, there is no more margin and the reason is financial fair play. We have a limit when it comes to player salaries. “.