Paris Saint-Germain are “confident” to be able to sign Lionel Messi – Neymar is now the driving force behind the transfer.
Shockwaves were sent to the football world on Thursday when Barcelona announced that “financial and structural hurdles” were preventing Messi from signing a new deal.
That means his 21-year stint at Camp Nou – where he made a name for himself as arguably the greatest player of all time – has come to an end.
Messi, who tried to leave the club last summer, was widely expected to strike a new deal despite ties to Man City and PSG in recent months.
The latter have become the favorites to clinch his signing with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, saying they are “confident” that they can make Messi their player.
Romano wrote on Twitter: “Paris Saint-Germain are ‘making progress’ in direct negotiations to sign Leo Messi. The ongoing talks to find the right “structure”, the PSG has been pushing since yesterday and now feels confident.
“Manchester City are still calm. PSG (and Neymar…) work for Messi.
PSG are clearly the favorites to sign the 34-year-old, and manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he is looking to improve his squad, although he has already added Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum and Sergio Ramos on free transfers.
Asked about Messi in his press conference ahead of PSG’s game against Troyes this weekend, he said: “We are focused on the start of the season.
“At the same time, we are focusing on the club, who are working on the transfer window in a low-key way, and working to improve the team in any way possible to achieve the goals we set for ourselves at the start of the season.
“As far as Lionel Messi is concerned, we know what happened yesterday. I won’t say anything different about that. We are fully focused on beating Troyes and getting the season off to a good start.
“At the same time, our athletic director and president are working hard to improve the team.”
Man City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed they will not budge for Messi, despite the news, he admitted to us having shocked him.
During his press conference he added: “It seemed like it had ended well in terms of the pursuit with Barcelona and in the end it was a surprise to everyone, including me of course, but I think that Joan Laporta clearly understood the reason today.
“We spent £ 40million on Jack Grealish. £ 100million we’re paying and £ 60million we won last year and it will bring number 10 because we were convinced for Jack Grealish. Right now it’s not on our minds [to sign Messi], absolutely not.”
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