Sources: PSG hold talks with Messi, keen for deal

Paris Saint-Germain have made contact with Lionel Messi over a potential move, sources have told ESPN, and the former Barcelona star’s arrival could have an impact on the futures of Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba.

PSG reached out to Messi on Thursday following the unexpected announcement from Barca that he would not be signing a new deal with them. Sources have told ESPN that PSG sporting director Leonardo and chairman Nasser al Khelaifi are heavily involved in the discussions with Messi, having been in contact with his father Jorge for some time.

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Sources added that Messi joining PSG would increase the likelihood of Mbappe, who is out of contract next summer, signing a new long-term deal with the club. This would damage Real Madrid‘s hopes of signing the 22-year-old on a free transfer next summer.

Messi’s arrival in Ligue 1 would also mean PSG end their interest in signing Manchester United midfielder Pogba, meaning he would run down his contract at Old Trafford before becoming a free agent next summer.

PSG have long been vocal about their wishes to sign Messi since he announced in August 2020 that he wanted to leave Camp Nou. Sources have told ESPN that while on holiday in Ibiza with Messi, PSG’s Neymar was pushing him to join the club. Messi also had conversations with Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Marco Verratti on the matter.

The French club’s owner Tamim bin Hamad is eager to bring him to the club and sources have told ESPN that he is being kept informed of all the conversations. Bin Hamad has been keen to bring either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to the club since he bought it in 2011.

However, there will be heavy financial implications for PSG should they manage to entice Messi to the club. While he is a free agent after running down his contract with Barca, the 34-year-old would still command a large contract in terms of wages, commissions, a signing on fee and bonuses.