PSG Transfer News Roundup: Barcelona CEO confident about Lionel Messi's Camp Nou return; Frenkie de Jong turned down Parisians in 2019, says his father; and more - December 3, 2022

SL Benfica v Paris Saint-Germain: Group H - UEFA Champions League
PSG manager Christophe Galtier

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are unbeaten across competitions this season. Christophe Galtier's wards are atop the Ligue 1 standings and have also progressed to the UEFA Champions League knockouts.

Meanwhile, Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff is confident that the Catalans would be reunited with their prodigal son Lionel Messi. Elsewhere, Frenkie de Jong turned down a chance to join the Parisians in 2019, according to his father John de Jong.

On that note, here's a look at the key PSG transfer stories as on December 3, 2022:

Jordi Cruyff confident about Lionel Messi's Camp Nou return

Lionel Messi has been on song at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi has been on song at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Jordi Cruyff reckons Lionel Messi would eventually return to the Camp Nou. The Argentinean was allowed to leave the Camp Nou in 2021 at the end of his contract. PSG won the race for his signature and are now reaping the benefits of the 35-year-old's presence.

Apart from benefitting the Parisians from a financial perspetive, Messi has also begun to deliver this season. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has been in outstanding form this season, scoring 12 goals and registering 14 assists in 19 games across competitions. However, he's in the final year of his contract but is yet to sign an extension.

Barcelona are talking up the possibility of Lionel Messi returning to the club, with sporting director Jordi Cruyff saying: "Barca and Messi have to be together again one day. This is clear." [The Sun]

The Parisians remain eager to tie Messi down to a new deal, while Inter Miami are also planning to secure his signature. Barcelona have been tipped to take their prodigal son back to his old hunting ground too. Speaking recently, as cited by PSG Talk, Cruyff sounded confident that a reunion is inevitable.

"Barca and Messi have to be together again one day. This is clear,” said Cruyff.

Messi is currently with the Argentina team in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with the Albiceleste preparing to take on Australia for a place in the quarterfinals. The 35-year-old has contributed two goals and an assist so far.

Frenkie de Jong turned down PSG in 2019, says his father

Frenkie de Jong was wanted in Paris in 2019.
Frenkie de Jong was wanted in Paris in 2019.

Frenkie de Jong turned down a chance to join PSG in 2019, his father John de Jong has said.

The Dutch midfielder was at Ajax during that time and was already wanted at clubs around Europe. The Parisians were eager for midfield reinforcements and had their eyes on the 25-year-old.

Frenkie de Jong’s game by numbers vs. Qatar:102 touches92% pass accuracy85 passes completed3/4 ground duels won2 tackles won1 interception1 key pass1 goalMetronome. 🕰️

Speaking to The Athletic, De Jong senior said that his son had a conversation with then Parisians manager Thomas Tuchel. However, Barcelona's entry into the race turned his head.

"He talked with (Thomas) Tuchel at Paris Saint-Germain; he talked with (Pep) Guardiola at Manchester City. They all wanted Frenkie. He was interested. Guardiola, very good coach. Tuchel, very good coach. Good clubs, so you speak to them. And then came Barcelona, and for Frenkie, it was clear," said John de Jong.

John added that Barcelona's Dutch heritage eventually helped them win the battle for his son's services.

“Like Frenkie has often said in interviews, Barcelona is the club of Dutch players. Johan Cruyff, Rinus Michels, Louis van Gaal, (Patrick) Kluivert, (Frank and Ronald) De Boer, Overmars. … It’s a feeling," said John.

The 25-year-old has struggled to nail down a place in Xavi's team this season, registering two goals and an assist in 17 games across competitions. De Jong is currently at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, helping the Oranje reach the quarterfinals.

Parisians face Barcelona competition for Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan is wanted in Paris.
Ilkay Gundogan is wanted in Paris.

PSG could face competition from Barcelona for the signature of Ilkay Gundogan, according to SPORT via PSG Talk. The German midfielder is in the final year of his contract with Manchester City but is yet to commit himself to the club. Gundogan has registered two goals and as many assists in 20 games across competitions this season.

The 32-year-old remains an essential part of Pep Guardiola's setup at the Etihad. The Parisians are planning to take him to the Parc des Princes on a Bosman move as they look to more quality to their midfield. However, the Blaugrana have identified Gundogan as a replacement for Sergio Busquets and are plotting to secure his services.

Both clubs could enter a pre-agreement with the German midfielder in January ahead of a summer move. Guardiola is eager to keep Gundogan at the club but will not stand in the way of the 32-year-old if he wants to leave.

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Edited by Bhargav
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