Paris Saint-Germain considered making a move for Lionel Messi, admitted sporting director Leonardo.
The Argentine star sent a fax to Barcelona last Tuesday stating that he wanted to exercise a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to leave on a free transfer this summer.
Speaking to French outlet Telefoot, Leonardo admitted that the 2019-20 Champions League finalists explored the opportunity to signing the six-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner.
The former Brazilian international compared it to the capture of David Beckham in 2013, saying:
“When we are told Messi wants to leave, we are tempted. You say to yourself, will it be f***ing 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.”
However, Barcelona insisted that Lionel Messi’s €700 million (£630m) release clause would have to be met by any potential suitor and the player swiftly made a u-turn on his decision to stay with the Spanish giants for at least another season.
Paris Saint-Germain themselves are in a little rebuild mode this summer, allowing Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva and Thomas Meunier to leave on free transfers. Silva had been with the club since joining from AC Milan in 2012. The 35-year-old joined Chelsea last month, whilst Cavani moved to the Parc des Princes in 2013.
The thought of Lionel Messi at PSG would have sent a statement of intent across Europe and show real ambition to winning the Champions League this upcoming season.
The French side were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the final of Europe’s elite club cup competition last month, and although Manuel Neuer pulled off a handful of world class saves in the final, PSG lacked a lot of firepower in the final third as both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar disappointed.
PSG have made Mauro Icardi a permanent signing this summer, whilst they also have Angel Di Maria in attack. A third Argentine international would have arguably given Thomas Tuchel the best attack in the world to work with.
The defending Ligue 1 champions should not give up hope though as Lionel Messi’s contract at Camp Nou expires next summer. Although he will be 34 by then he is still the best player in the world currently.
Barcelona finished runners-up to Real Madrid in La Liga and were humiliated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, so perhaps their performances in those two competitions this season will play a role in whether Messi decides to renew his contract or not.
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