Lionel Messi: New Barcelona president vows to keep star
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Lionel Messi has been offered Neymar’s No 10 shirt by Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports. The Barcelona star’s contract at the Nou Camp is winding down. And he could be on the move when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season.
Barcelona have enjoyed Messi for the best part of two decades.
But, with the summer transfer window creeping closer, it’s far from guaranteed he’ll be at the club next season.
Messi wanted to leave last year, believing he was entitled to quit Barcelona for nothing due to a clause in his contract.
That didn’t happen in the end, however, with the 33-year-old ultimately denied a move away.
Now, Messi’s contract at Barcelona is due to expire come the summer and there’s been no announcement over a renewal.
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And Argentinean outlet TNT Sports have claimed PSG have now given the Barcelona star a formal offer ahead of a potential move to the Parc des Princes.
It’s said they’re willing to give him Neymar’s No 10 shirt, which he currently wears over in Catalonia.
And they’re also set to give Messi a three-year deal, believing that can persuade him into moving to France.
Whether the Argentina international accepts the offer remains to be seen, especially with Barcelona ticking along nicely in the race for the La Liga title.
But it appears PSG are hopeful of reuniting Messi with Neymar, with the duo close friends off the field of play.
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Messi and Neymar won the treble at Barcelona in the 2014-15 season under Luis Enrique, with the Samba star scoring in the Champions League final.
And though the Brazil international broke hearts when he quit the Nou Camp in 2017, Messi has refused to hold a grudge.
The veteran even admitted in an interview last year that he’d tried to lobby Barcelona into re-signing Neymar, despite the bitterness caused by his departure.
“It bothered me at the time [when Neymar left] and we tried to convince him not to do it,” he said.
“But we all want to win and have the best players around us.
“He’s one of the best players in the world and he brought a lot to the team. But it’s understandable that people would see it as leaving in a bad way.”
“He is desperate to return and has always appeared to regret his decision.
“He did a lot to come back and that would be the first step in making it happen. He was always fine at Barca, performing at a very high level. He’s a different type of player who is difficult to stop one-on-one and score goals.”
Joan Laporta was recently appointed as Barcelona’s new president.
But, when quizzed on Neymar back in December, he refused to open up on the possibility of re-signing the forward.
“I will not talk about this or that player during the campaign, because it can destabilise the team,” he said.
“They are attentive to all the stories that come out.
“I don’t want someone from inside (Barça) to tell me that I have destabilised the club, if I win.”
Neymar is set to feature when PSG lock horns with Manchester City tonight in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
And it promises to be a blockbuster showdown, with both teams among the best on the planet.
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