PSG sporting director Leonardo has fuelled speculation over Lionel Messi’s next move, claiming that the Argentine will ‘always’ be on his club’s list of targets.
Messi, famously, has just six months left on his current deal in Catalonia. After doing everything he could to force a move in pre-season, he has given little concrete indication that he will stay beyond 2020/21.
Barcelona‘s presidential elections in March may yet have an impact on his future, but speculation has been rife over where he could go should he leave. Manchester City and Inter have been regularly linked, as has a sensational move to MLS, where David Beckham has distant ambitions of bringing him to Inter Miami.
Among the handful of clubs on the planet who could possibly afford his stratospheric wages are French champions PSG. Club chief Leonardo is not prepared to rule a deal out.
“Great players like him will always be on PSG’s list,” he said to France Football. “Now is not the time to discuss or even dream of it.
“We are seated at the table of those keeping tabs on it. In fact, not seated, but with a place reserved — just in case. Four months is an eternity in football, especially in these times.”
Leonardo went on to discuss the futures of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who are both out of contract in 2022.
Reports have predicted that the pair could be sold for cut-price fees in the summer as they enter the final year on their respective deals.
Leonardo, though, remains optimistic it won’t come to that.
He went on: “I hope they are convinced that PSG is a good place at the moment for an ambitious football player. We just have to find an agreement between their desires, their requirements, our expectations and our means.
“We don’t have to beg them. Those who really want to stay will remain. We talk regularly and I have good feelings on these two issues.”