By Mukwuzi Joseph
Lionel Messi has spoken to Mauricio Pochettino about a potential move to Paris Saint Germain, with the French club now looking to find a way to make the transfer work.
Barcelona sensationally declared that the Argentine legend would not be continuing at Nou Camp due to the prohibitive economic restrictions of La Liga, leading Messi’s camp to immediately start investigating what was possible.
There had finally been agreement between the 34-year-old and Barcelona, only for that to break down over the fact the Catalan hierarchy couldn’t register any new players, due to their prohibitively high wage bill. Since Messi officially became a free agent when his previous contract ran out earlier in the summer, he was also classed as a “new player”.
While there is anger within Barcelona about the situation, it is largely of their own making, and has left Messi looking to quickly sort out his future.
That led to direct talks with Pochettino late on Thursday night. While PSG had previously indicated that Messi’s demands might be too high, they are now keen to make the transfer work.
Manchester City have also been explored as an option, but they are much more reticent this time. The Independent has been told that the English champions came “within hours” of signing Messi last summer, and the feeling at the club is the chance has gone.
PSG currently look like the most viable option, as one of the few clubs able to afford Messi’s wages. It is unlikely he will get the wage he was paid at Barcelona, but he could still earn up to £500,000 a week, depending on the economic opportunities he offers.
Any club signing Messi would ultimately be signing one of the most commercially attractive figures in sport, offsetting the high cost of any wage package.