PSG Transfer News Roundup: Joan Laporta opens up on Lionel Messi exit; Real Madrid interested in Achraf Hakimi, and more - January 8, 2023

Paris Saint-Germain v Kawasaki Frontale - Preseason Friendly
PSG manager Christophe Galtier

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) next face Angers in Ligue 1 at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday (January 11). Christophe Galtier’s wards remain four points clear at the top of the league after 17 games, despite their recent defeat to Lens.

Meanwhile, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has opened up on Messi’s unceremonious exit from the Camp Nou in the summer of 2021. Elsewhere, Real Madrid are interested in bringing Achraf Hakimi back to the Santiago Bernabeu.

On that note, here's a look at the key Real Madrid transfer stories as on January 8, 2023:

Joan Laporta opens up on Lionel Messi exit

Lionel Messi continues to reign supreme in the football world.
Lionel Messi continues to reign supreme in the football world.

Joan Laporta has maintained that he had no choice but to let Lionel Messi leave Barcelona in the summer of 2021. After spending over two decades at the Camp Nou, the Argentinean had to leave the club when his contract expired at the end of the 2020-21 season. PSG snapped up the player on a free transfer, bringing him to France.

Messi endured a season-long adaptation process in Ligue 1, with the 35-year-old initially struggling to adjust to the rigours of French football. There was talk of a return to his alma mater last summer, but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner stayed put with the Parisians. This season, the 35-year-old has been in blistering form with both club and country.

"How are you going to convince me that magic doesn't exist?" - Lionel Messi 💙

Messi won the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with Argentina and has also impressed with PSG.

However, with his contract expiring in six months, rumours of a return to Barcelona have refused to subside. The La Liga giants reportedly remain keen to bring their prodigal son back, but Laporta has refused to indulge in such talks.

Speaking recently, he said that he regrets the circumstances of the 35-year-old’s exit but added that it was in the club's best interest.

“I had to put Barca above the best player in the history of football. In those moments of economic ruin, I couldn’t keep him. I think it was the best thing for the club. Right now, he is a PSG player, and I prefer not to talk about him. We are focused on Barca. Leo will always be part of our crest, and I would like him to have a different ending to the one he had,” said Laporta.

Messi has appeared 19 times acrosscompetitions for the Parisians this season, scoring 12 goals and setting up 14 more.

Real Madrid interested in Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi is wanted at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Achraf Hakimi is wanted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are interested in Achraf Hakimi, according to Defensa Central via The Hard Tackle.

The Moroccan right-back has gone places since leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, and the La Liga giants are keen to take him back. However, with Los Blancos and PSG at daggers drawn, a transfer might be difficult to materialise.

The 24-year-old first rose to prominence after his stellar loan deal with Borussia Dortmund. He was sold to Inter Milan in 2020 and moved to the Parc des Princes a year later. Hakimi is now a first-team regular with the Parisians and has amassed three goals and as many assists in 23 games across competitions this season.

Real Madrid are looking for Dani Carvajal’s successor, and the Moroccan appears tailor-made for the role. PSG are unlikely to let him leave, but Los Blancos could use the Ligue 1 champions’ interest in Ferland Mendy to get a deal across the line.

PSG face Barcelona battle for Evan Ndicka

Evan Ndicka has admirers at the Parc des Princes.
Evan Ndicka has admirers at the Parc des Princes.

PSG are battling Barcelona for the services of Evan Ndicka, according to Estadio Deportivo via Barca Universal.

The French defender’s contract with Eintracht Frankfurt runs out at the end of the season. The 23-year-old has been rock-solid at the back for the Bundesliga side, but they have struggled to tie him down to a new deal.

🗣️| @cfbayern: “Evan Ndicka has an offer from Frankfurt, a three-year extension specifically. I think there’s a good chance that he’ll sign this contract but there are many clubs interested at the moment, one of them is Arsenal.” #afc

The Blaugrana are plotting a Bosman move for the player this summer but face competition from the Parisians.

The Ligue 1 champions are sweating on the future of Sergio Ramos, who's also in the final six months of his contract. PSG have not offered the Spaniard a new deal yet and could opt to replace him with Ndicka at the end of the season.

The Frenchman is also a target for Arsenal and Sevilla, and there could be a bidding war for his signature in the summer.

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Edited by Bhargav
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