Paris Saint-Germain Pursuing Lionel Messi, Mauricio Pochettino Confirms

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What will become of Lionel Messi now that he is shockingly a free agent? Well, Paris Saint-Germain is the front-runner, and manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted Friday that the French powerhouse is indeed working on trying to sign the Argentine.

Manchester City have certainly not been shy about their intentions to acquire Messi, but they have already moved on and filled the void elsewhere. Yesterday they announced their new English transfer fee record breaking signing, in Jack Grealish. He just happens to play the same position as Messi and he costs 100 million GBP.

City is also working on trying to close Tottenham talisman Harry Kane too, so it’s fair to say they’ve allocated their resources elsewhere. Plus City manager Pep Guardiola himself ruled out a Messi pursuit earlier today. So let’s look at the other of the two clubs that exist on a financial plane high above everybody else in football, Paris Saint-Germain.

Pochettino confirmed their overtures to the galactico, ahead of the Ligue 1 season opener:

“Of course [signing Messi] is a possibility,” he responded to a question on the topic.

“The club is working on it and if there is any information we will communicate it as soon as possible.”

However, PSG has been this summer’s transfer window champion, making more key/good signings than anybody, so while it’s fair to say that PSG is an option, it’s complicated.

Even when you have extremely deep pockets, like PSG does, you still have to go through a lot of process to sign and pay somebody like Messi. Other than PSG or City, it’s hard to say who can really afford Leo Messi, as Juventus really can’t at this point. Neither can Real Madid. So maybe Bayern Munich? Manchester United?

The latter just spent a ton of money and a new hotshot wing player, so likely not.

Paris is the most likely destination, as the club’s Sporting Director Leonardo and Chairman Nasser al Khelaifi have been heavily involved in talks with his father, Jorge, for quite some time. Messi has been on the radar for awhile, and there is still time left this window to get it done, but I’m still thinking he’ll stay put in the end.

FC Barcelona and La Liga as a whole just have too much to lose if they let Messi walk away, so you can expect all three sides (player, club, league) to all come together and figure something out that works for everyone.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

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