Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo reportedly reached out to Jorge Messi, the father of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, to discuss a potential blockbuster transfer for the superstar forward.
Speculation about Messi's future has run rampant since ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens reported Tuesday he informed the Spanish club of his intent to leave during the offseason.
Along with PSG, Manchester City and Inter Milan lead the group of European giants monitoring Messi's situation, per AS. They are among the select number of clubs that have the financial strength to make a serious push to sign one of the best players in football history.
There are hurdles to any potential deal, though.
First, Messi and Barcelona are at odds about the terminology of his contract that states he's allowed to leave on a free transfer at season's end. The forward believes he can invoke the clause now following the conclusion of the coronavirus pandemic-delayed campaign, while the club says it needed to be used before the beginning of summer, per ESPN.
If a transfer fee must be paid on top of the 33-year-old Argentinian's contract, it will further limit the number of clubs capable of making a transfer happen.
Second, Barca sporting director Ramon Planes has insisted the La Liga side want to keep Messi amid restructuring of the squad following a rare trophyless campaign:
Meanwhile, former Barcelona teammate Neymar reached out to the six-time Ballon d'Or winner over the phone Thursday to discuss a potential reunion with PSG, per ESPN's Julien Laurens.
Neymar's club teammate and Messi's international teammate Angel Di Maria also reached out to the 33-year-old, according to Laurens.
The summer transfer window, which was adjusted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will now run through Oct. 5.
There's no bigger question over the next five weeks than whether Messi, who joined Barca's youth academy 19 years ago, will still be a member of the Blaugrana when the deadline passes.