Neymar’s admission on Wednesday that he wants to play with Lionel Messi again has, perhaps unsurprisingly, fuelled fresh speculation about the future of the Barcelona captain.
The Brazilian dropped a bombshell after Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. He told ESPN Argentina, “What I want most is to play with Messi again. I want to enjoy playing with him again on the field, surely next year we have to do it.”
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Messi Heading to PSG?
Messi is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season and able to walk away as a free agent. According to journalist Daniel Riolo, the 33-year-old will indeed quit the Camp Nou and join Neymar in the French capital.
Riolo told RMC Sport, “Messi will be at PSG next year. I am very serious. Messi will be at PSG next year.”
PSG are one of the few clubs able to afford Messi’s huge wages and are no strangers to big investments. They stunned the soccer world by activating Neymar’s €222 million release clause in 2017 to bring him to the Parc des Princes from Barcelona.
The French champions subsequently splashed out heavily to land striker Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for a reported fee of €180m plus bonuses.
Neymar Wanted Messi to Move Last Summer
Messi’s future has been uncertain ever since he informed Barcelona via burofax that he wanted to leave. Neymar did his best to try to convince his former team-mate to join him in the French capital, according to RMC Sport.
A source close to the Brazilian explained, “This summer, Ney did everything to get Messi in Paris. He told him he was really happy at PSG. Messi hesitated. He thought about it. Ney wants to play him with and wants him to come to PSG next summer, but it’s a complicated deal because everyone wants Leo.”
Sporting director Leonardo told Telefoot in September that his club were tempted to move for Messi after hearing he wanted out of Barcelona, as reported by Goal.
Today when you think about the financial situation it’s complicated. When we are told Messi wants to leave, we are tempted. You say to yourself, will it be f*cking possible? They are players completely out of any discussion.
I don’t know, David Beckham ended up at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi ending up in Paris? I don’t know. It’s football, in the end, everyone’s sitting at the table, everyone knows everything, and it’s moving forward.
Signing Messi and the finances involved are still likely to prove complicated even if he is a free agent. PSG also need to secure the futures of both Neymar and Mbappe who are both approaching the end of their current contracts.
Both players are under contract until 2022 and Leonardo told a Q&A session on PSG’s official website in November that his club has “started negotiations with Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria to extend their contracts.”
PSG are not the only club to have been linked with Messi. Manchester City are also believed to be interested, although Pep Guardiola told reporters earlier this month that he wants Messi to finish his career at Barcelona.