It's no secret that Lionel Messi could well be on his way out of Barcelona this summer. French giants PSG happen to be one of the few sides capable of offering him a place next season.
According to reports from ESPN, It is believed that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the owner of PSG, has always sought to sign either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi since he purchased the French club.
Despite no move successfully materializing in the past, Lionel Messi's current situation at Barcelona, coupled with the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as the new manager at PSG is expected to boost the club's chances of finally snagging the Argentine great.
Last year, Lionel Messi famously tried and failed to force a move out of the Catalan club, despite previously being told that he would be allowed to unilaterally terminate his contract. However, an unclear clause in his contract ultimately prevented the 33-year-old from exiting the club. Messi is yet to make an official announcement about his future but it is extremely likely he could choose to move elsewhere.
With Messi's contract at Barcelona expiring this summer, the Argentina international will be free to leave the club as a free agent. Thereby eliminating the need for a transfer fee, albeit his exorbitant wages could prove challenging for most clubs.
The report further claims that PSG are indeed interested in recruiting Lionel Messi, but the club's priorities are to negotiate new long-term deals with their existing superstars, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Should both players sign lucrative new contracts, PSG's wage bill is expected to soar, thereby making it a challenge to accommodate Lionel Messi. As it stands, Neymar makes €36.8m a year, while Mbappe earns €11.3m.
Both players are expected to be offered better terms and salaries as PSG hope to tie them down to longer contracts and secure the club's future. Crucially, Lionel Messi earns €50m-a-year at Barcelona, and matching that fee currently seems next to impossible for PSG to finance.
In order to make their owner's dream come true, it is very likely that PSG will either have to significantly trim their wage bill to stay on the right side of the FFP regulations. Or maybe find new sources of sufficient revenue – neither of which will be easy.
Lionel Messi is not the only PSG target
While the financial aspects of a potential move for Lionel Messi are yet to be figured out, PSG are also believed to be monitoring other players. As per reports from AS, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos are being evaluated as potential targets by the French club.
Notably, both players are yet to sign new deals at their current clubs and are set to become free agents in the summer.Published 13 Jan 2021, 13:01 IST