Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are preparing to face Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday in Ligue 1. The Parisians have enjoyed a perfect start to the new season, winning all three of their games across competitions.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Batistuta feels Lionel Messi no longer has the weight of the world on his shoulders with Argentina. Elsewhere, the Parisians are struggling to complete a move for an Inter Milan defender.
On that note, here's a look at the key PSG transfer stories from August 16, 2022:
Lionel Messi freed of burden of expectations with Argentina, says Gabriel Batistuta
Gabriel Batistuta feels Lionel Messi is freed of the burden of expectations with La Albeceleste at the moment.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner endured a difficult time with the national team before finally finding salvation last summer. The PSG superstar ended up on the losing side in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final and also finished second-best in three Copa Americas.
However, Messi realised his long-standing dream by guiding Argentina to a Copa America triumph last year. Speaking to La Nacion, as relayed by The Mirror, Batigol pointed out that the 35-year-old had previously been stifled by the burden of expectations.
“We gave it to Messi for a long time. First, we condemn ourselves for thinking that we had Jesus Christ, and it is Messi, yes, but it is not Jesus Christ, and then we condemn him too. We did damage for a long time. Now that's changed, see? Because he also felt freer with these guys,” said Batistuta.
Batistuta went on to stress the importance of sharing the workload with the team, citing Messi’s outstanding run in Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team.
“Do you know what it must be like to feel that others expect you to do everything? What if we all do it together? It sounds different. And it feels different. Messi is not stupid; if you play at that level, you are not an idiot. Go and ask Messi if he prefers to play in Guardiola's Barcelona, in which he shared everything with great players, or play alone and score all the goals,” said Batistuta.
Messi has enjoyed a strong start to the new season with PSG, scoring three times already in as many games across competitions. He'll hope to continue that form with Argentina at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year as La Albiceleste seek their first title in nearly four decades. Argentina have been drawn in Group C with Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Poland.
PSG struggling to complete Milan Skriniar move
The Ligue 1 giants are eager to add more steel to their backline before the end of the summer. The Parisians have been hot on the heels of the Slovak international, but a move has failed to see the light of day so far. The player has already agreed personal terms with the club, who are yet to strike a deal with Inter Milan.
The French champions are yet to match the Nerazzurri’s asking price for the 27-year-old, causing negotiations to hit a standstill. As such, even though Skriniar is their numero uno target, PSG could be forced to pursue alternate options this summer.
Athletic Bilbao ready for Ander Herrera reunion
Athletic Bilbao are ready to script a reunion with Ander Herrera, according to El Correo via PSG Talk.
The Spanish midfielder is surplus to requirements at the Parisians and could be allowed to leave. New sporting director Luis Campos is overseeing a massive squad overhaul at the Parc des Princes and has put Herrera up for sale.
The Parisians could cash in on the player or opt to terminate his contract to allow him to leave as a free agent. Bilbao are hoping to re-sign their former player on a Bosman move and could offer him a two or three-year contract.