Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has stated that the club are interested in signing Lionel Messi, with his contract with Barcelona coming to an end this summer.
The Argentina superstar has been free to negotiate with clubs outside of Spain since the turn of the year.
And according to sources, ESPN were told in December that PSG were exploring the opportunity of signing him.
The 33-year-old is growing increasingly frustrated by the Nou Camp club’s struggles. Indeed, he was sent-off for the first time in his Barca career in the Supercopa final defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night.
The writing appears to have been on the wall since last summer, when Messi admitted he wanted out.
And the arrival of Ronald Koeman as boss looks to have done little to change the attacker’s mind. The Catalan side currently sit third in LaLiga, seven points off leaders Atletico Madrid.
PSG, meanwhile, are looking to make a big statement – having also just appointed Messi’s compatriot Mauricio Pochettino as manager.
And Leonardo admits PSG are ready to make their move, telling France Football: “Great players like Messi will always be put in PSG’s list.
“Of course, it is not the time to talk about it or to dream about it. But we are sat at the big table of the clubs following this closely.
“Actually, no, we are not sat yet but our chair is reserved there, just in case. Four months [before the end of the season] in football, it is an eternity, especially at this time.”
Two huge contracts also on the agenda
Any potential move would involve a major financial commitment from the French club, however.
They are also trying to work out contract extensions for star men Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Leonardo added: “I hope they are convinced that PSG is a good place to be right now for a very high level and ambitious player. We just have to find an agreement with their desires, their demands, our expectations and our possibilities.
“We are not begging them: ‘Please, stay.’ It is more argued than this. The ones who really want to stay will stay. We exchange regularly and I have good vibes on both those cases.”
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