Paris Saint-Germain are keeping a close watch on the future of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, according to the club’s sporting director Leonardo.
Messi has entered the final six months of his contract at Camp Nou and could make a sensational free transfer once his deal expires after this season.
PSG and Manchester City have been tipped as the most likely clubs to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who was sent off in the 3-2 Supercopa de Espana loss to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, if he chooses not to extend his contract with Barca.
While he says now is not the time to say anything concrete about a possible agreement, Leonardo suggests the Ligue 1 champions will be ready to make their move should Messi wish to seek a new challenge.
“Great players like Messi will always be on PSG’s list,” he told France Football. “But this is of course not the time to talk about it, or to dream about it.
“But we are sitting at the big table of those who are following the case closely. In fact, no, we’re not yet sitting there, but our chair is reserved, just in case…
“Four months is an eternity in football, especially at this time.”
It has been reported in France that PSG’s priority for now is to extend the contracts of star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The world’s most expensive two players see their present deals at Parc des Princes expire at the end of next season.
Leonardo maintains PSG will not be forced into any special concessions in order to keep them at the club, but he has a positive feeling they can reach agreements.
“I hope they’re convinced PSG is a good place right now for an ambitious and very high-level footballer,” he said.
“We just have to find an agreement between their desires, their requirements, our expectations and our means.
“We don’t have to beg them ‘please stay’. Those who really want to stay will stay. We talk regularly and I have good feelings on these two cases.”
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