LIONEL MESSI and Paris Saint-Germain are already in ‘direct contact’ after his shock exit from Barcelona.
Messi, who joined Barca aged just 13, stunned world football on Thursday night when the club announced their greatest player would be leaving after failing to agree a new contract.
Now, according to Fabrizio Romano, PSG are already in ‘direct contact’ with Messi and his father/agent Jorge.
And The Athletic report that Messi himself reached out to Mauricio Pochettino late on Thursday.
From there, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi became involved with the moneybags club’s operations team said to have already held discussions on how ‘commercial avenues can be maximised to reflect Messi’s stature.’
The report also states that PSG are confident that the huge cost involved in signing Messi will be offset by the massive revenue he drives – both for the club themselves and because of an increased interest in Ligue 1 if he were to arrive.
In recent weeks it had looked as if Messi, who has been a free agent since the end of June, would sign a new deal to stay.
He had even been willing to take a pay cut to return – but a deal could not be reached and was apparently blocked by LaLiga because of Barcelona’s dire financial situation.
The French giants are the bookies’ favourites to sign the forward, especially after Manchester City announced the £100million British record signing of Jack Grealish just moments after the Messi news broke.
Pep Guardiola’s side are also chasing a mammoth deal for Tottenham and England captain Harry Kane.
With very few other clubs able to meet Messi’s huge financial demands, the path would appear clear, unless there is another twist and the six-time Ballon d’Or winner moves to MLS or returns to Argentina.
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Neymar, who formed a wonderful partnership with Messi before he left for Paris, has already ‘liked’ a post of his former team-mate in a PSG shirt on Instagram.
The thought of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe joining up will also set pulses racing.
However, despite the shock news, there is some belief that the situation between Barcelona and LaLiga gets resolved and Messi ends up staying in Catalonia.
Reports indicate that Messi had been in Barcelona to put pen to paper on a new deal with an announcement even scheduled to take place.
But Barca informed their greatest ever player that their hands had been tied by LaLiga.
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Confirming his exit, a club statement read: “Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalised due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations).
“Given this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue [with] FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the club cannot finally be fulfilled.
“Barca would like to thank with all its heart the player’s contribution to the enhancement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”
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