Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Paris Saint-Germain are working on signing departing Barcelona stalwart Lionel Messi.
The news of Messi’s imminent departure from Camp Nou caused tectonic disorder in the footballing world yesterday as the Argentine officially became a free agent.
After months of negotiations, Barcelona president Joan Laporta admitted defeat in the club’s attempts to register the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s new contract.
Messi’s deal in Catalonia effectively ran out on July 1, but the parties were working on a new contract during the forward’s international duty with Argentina.
Although he was expected to pledge his future to Barcelona once his commitments at the Copa America 2021 were done, the 34-year-old won’t be wearing the Blaugrana colors next season.
Faced with immense financial struggle, Barca failed to comply with La Liga’s financial fair play rules, which forced the club to renounce Messi’s services.
And so, one of the most romantic football stories of the 21st century was brought to an unsatisfying end on Thursday evening.
Now, it’s time for Messi to embark on a new chapter in his career, with several high-profile destinations appearing to be on the cards.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City are not in the picture after smashing the British transfer record to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa yesterday.
Inter Milan, who were linked with a potential move for Messi in the past, cannot afford the Argentine’s whopping wage demands due to the ongoing financial turmoil.
With Man City and Inter out of contention, PSG look to be the only viable landing spot for Messi. That’s of course when it comes to Europe.
Now, Pochettino has admitted Les Parisiens have laid the groundwork for the mercurial forward’s arrival.
“We know what happened yesterday between Messi and Barca… but we are fully focused on beating Troyes,” Pochettino said as relayed by the Daily Express.
“Nasser [Al-Khelaifi] and Leonardo are working hard to improve the team.”
Paris have been busy in the summer after surrendering the Ligue 1 crown to Lille last term.
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi, and Georginio Wijnaldum have all arrived at the Parc des Princes in the ongoing transfer window.
But signing Messi would be the icing on the cake and the potential season-changing factor for PSG, who are desperate to land their first Champions League title next season.