Paris Saint-Germain are set to renew talks with Lionel Messi following the news that the forward will not continue with Barcelona next season.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has officially been a free agent since his contract expired on July 1, but Barcelona have now confirmed a new deal will not be signed after the club were unable to fulfil the terms of a new contract.
Messi had been expected to sign a new five-year deal on a reduced salary given Barcelona’s crippling financial situation, though the Spanish side have stated their ‘regret’ that the agreement cannot be fulfilled due to ‘financial and structural obstacles’.
Barcelona have been struggling to reduce their wage bill in line with La Liga’s financial fair play rulings and a new contract for Messi – even one that would have seen his salary reduced by 50% – has not come to fruition.
Paris Saint-Germain started new contacts to ask about Leo Messi situation yesterday, right after La Liga blocked new contract agreement with Barça 🔴🇦🇷 #PSG
Messi will take his time to see what happens. He turned down PSG and City approaches months ago, as he only wanted Barça.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 6, 2021
PSG are now prepared to make their move and Fabrizio Romano has revealed the Ligue 1 side will start new contract talks with Messi, as the Parisian side seek to tempt the Argentina captain to France.
Messi is believed to want a project where he can continue to win trophies and a move to the Parc des Princes would allow the 34-year-old to compete at the highest level, whilst the player’s close bond with PSG superstar Neymar adds to the appeal.
PSG have strengthened their squad significantly with the additions of Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma this summer and the signing of Messi would raises hopes of a maiden European triumph next season.
There remains a feeling however, that Barcelona’s statement on Messi’s departure could be a power play in a bid to get La Liga to lift their restrictions as the division prepares to lose its biggest name.
A new investment in La Liga from CVC Capital Partners was announced on Wednesday and the funds initially raised hopes that Barcelona would be able to strike an agreement for Messi’s stay.
Messi has spent his entire career with Barcelona to date, scoring 672 goals in 778 appearances and winning 34 trophies.