Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will look to wrap up the Ligue 1 title race as soon as possible this season. The Parisians are a whopping 15 points clear at the top with just ten games left.
On that note, here’s a look at the key PSG transfer stories as on 15th March 2022:
Lionel Messi not planning Barcelona return
Lionel Messi is not planning to return to Barcelona this summer, according to Barca Universal via SPORT.
The Argentinean arrived at PSG last summer after the Blaugrana could not extend his contract due to their financial woes. Fresh from inspiring La Albiceleste to the Copa America trophy, the 34-year-old was expected to set Ligue 1 on fire. Unfortunately, things have not unfolded as expected, with Messi scoring just twice in 18 games.
Messi has endured a subdued season so far, failing to assert his influence. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has struggled to adjust to the hustle and bustle of French football. The Argentinean managed a brief resurgence in the last few weeks but endured a difficult time last week against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
Lionel Messi failed to inspire the Parisians, who stumbled against a rampant Los Blancos side in the Round of 16. The Ligue 1 giants were knocked out 3-2 on aggregate, ending their dreams of lifting the trophy for the first time.
Messi was a mere spectator in the tie, also missing a penalty in the first leg. That infuriated fans who voiced their feelings during the league game against Bordeaux.
Messi was constantly booed, despite PSG winning the game 3-0. It was later rumoured that the player’s father, Jorge Messi, had initiated contact with Barcelona to facilitate a return to the Camp Nou. Talks of the 34-year-old’s reunion with his former club have been doing the rounds of late.
However, it is now believed that Messi has no intention of rejoining the Blaugrana. The Argentinean has not been in touch with Joan Laporta since his exit, and his father hasn’t spoken to Barcelona regarding a return. The 34-year-old is under contract with the Parisians till 2023 and wants to honour the deal.
Messi is devastated with the early exit from the Champions League, where he scored five times in seven games this season. Nevertheless, he remains determined to succeed at the Parc des Princes. A departure this summer, as such, is out of the question for now, despite the impending exit of Kylian Mbappe.
PSG want Rafael Leao
The Ligue 1 giants want to inject a shot of youth into their attack, with both Neymar and Messi in their 30s. Angel Di Maria is expected to depart the Parc des Princes this summer, opening up space in the team for a new addition. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has his eyes on Leao.
The Portuguese has been outstanding for the Rossoneri, earning admiration from the Parisians. The French side are willing to offer €70 million for the 22-year-old, who could be handed a net salary of €6 million per year.
However, Leao is under contract with AC Milan till 2024, and the Serie A giants are not unlikely to let go of him easily. In fact, they are willing to extend his contract, which expires in 2024. He has bagged 24 goals and 15 assists in over 100 appearances across competitions with the Rossoneri.
Benfica interested in Angel Di Maria
Benfica are contemplating a move for Angel Di Maria this summer, according to PSG Talk via Record.
The Argentinean spent three seasons with the Portuguese side, appearing 124 times and winning three trophies. The 34-year-old eventually moved to Real Madrid but could have the opportunity to roll back the years at his old hunting ground next season.
Di Maria’s current contract expires this summer. The Parisians have not yet offered to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes. So the Argentinean could script a return to Benfica if he leaves the French side for free at the end of the season.