Lionel Messi Nearing PSG Contract Agreement as Mauricio Pochettino Confirms Talks

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2021

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Getafe at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
AP Photo/Joan Monfort

Paris Saint-German manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed Friday that PSG is interested in signing former Barcelona star Lionel Messi, and reports suggest the two sides are nearing an agreement entering the weekend. 

According to ESPN's Julien Laurens, Pochettino said: "Of course [signing Messi] is a possibility. The club is working on it and if there is any information we will communicate it as soon as possible."

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Paris Saint-Germain are close to sign Leo Messi, confirmed. PSG are preparing the official contract until June 2023 to be submitted to Messi and his father Jorge in the next hours 🚨🇦🇷 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Messi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Messi</a><br><br>Messi’s open to join PSG. Neymar was pushing in the last 24h. PSG are so, so confident. <a href="https://t.co/WNRYJKCkjs">pic.twitter.com/WNRYJKCkjs</a>

Julien Laurens @LaurensJulien

No complete agreement yet between PSG and Messi but negotiations are going well. Messi wants to join PSG so reasons to be optimistic for Paris. There will be a physical meeting next week, between Jorge Messi and PSG. Things can change quickly but it’s getting closer <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNFC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNFC</a>

Laurens noted that sources said PSG reached out to Messi on Thursday after Barca announced it would be unable to re-sign him because of financial issues.

Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden of ESPN reported in July that Messi and Barcelona agreed to a new five-year contract after he became a free agent.

While both sides wanted to get a deal done, Barca didn't have the financial flexibility needed to make it happen, meaning the 34-year-old legend will play elsewhere next season for the first time in his professional career.

Messi has always played under the Barcelona umbrella, as he was part of Barcelona C and Barcelona B before getting called up to the first team in 2004.

The Argentina native is unquestionably one of the greatest players of all time with 672 goals and 305 assists in 778 matches across all competitions for Barca.

Messi also won 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles and four UEFA Champions League titles in addition to being a six-time winner of the FIFA Ballon d'Or as the world's best player.

Given his high-profile status, Laurens noted that PSG owner Tamim bin Hamad is "eager" to sign Messi. Bin Hamad has reportedly wanted either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo on the team since purchasing PSG in 2011.

PSG's renewed interest in Messi comes as little surprise since it was reported last summer that PSG and Manchester City were among the top suitors for Messi after he informed Barcelona he no longer wanted to play for the club.

Messi and Barcelona ultimately worked things out, but he is once again on the market, and signing him would make sense for Paris Saint-Germain on multiple fronts.

Laurens reported that signing Messi would likely convince rising star Kylian Mbappe to re-sign with the club before he becomes a free agent next summer.

Also, on the heels of finishing second to Lille in the Ligue 1 standings last season, PSG could use a talent infusion.

With Messi in the fold, PSG would be favored to return to the top of Ligue 1, and they would be major threats to win their first Champions League title as well after finishing as runners-up in 2020.