Paris Saint-Germain are at the front of the queue in the race to sign six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
The French side are 5/1 to sign the Argentina international this summer whose contract at Barcelona is officially over as of July 1, making Messi a free agent.
Messi was under the impression he was able to leave Barca on a free transfer last summer and submitted a written request to the club at the time. The 34-year-old eventually performed a U-turn and agreed to stay at the Camp Nou until the end of the 2020/21 season after LaLiga confirmed his €700m release clause remained active.
He is currently away on international duty with Argentina, so will be unable to participate in any talks but, theoretically the 34-year-old is free to talk to whomever he wants about his 2021/22 season.
New Barcelona president Joan Laporta remains confident that Messi will sign a new contract with the club, insisting the Argentine wants to stay.
“We want him to stay and Leo wants to stay, everything is on the right track, what’s left to sort out is the issue of fair play and we are in the process of finding the best solution for both parties,” Laporta told El Transistor.
“I’d like to be able to announce that he is staying but at the moment I cannot do that, because we are in the process of looking for the best solution for both parties.”
However, there is still the possibility of any talks falling through and Messi remaining away from Barcelona. Should that be the case, then PSG are favourites to sign Messi before September 3, ahead of Manchester City (11/2) who had lead the race in the January transfer window.
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