BARCELONA

Messi: Thiago Silva wants to play with Barça star before retiring

The Paris Saint-Germain captain is out of contract at the end of the season and has hinted he would be happy to take a pay cut to join Messi at Barça.

El central brasileño del PSG, Thiago Silva.
Franck Fife AFP

Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva is out of contract at the end of the season and there has been no indication from the club that a renewal will be forthcoming, leading the Brazil international defender to consider his one final career wish before retirement: to play alongside Barcelona star Leo Messi.

Silva has always been effusive in his praise of the Argentina captain and according to Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo if there is no offer from PSG he will refuse any potential moves within Europe or decamping to China or the United States with a view to securing a free transfer to Camp Nou to line up alongside Messi before he hangs up his boots.

Thiago would be happy to stay in Paris but it is not up to him,” Silva’s agent, Paul Tonietto, said. “If he does not renew [with PSG] anything is possible. He has a special affection for AC Milan but we have not been in contact with them. Other clubs have been in touch with us but at the moment we haven’t started any negotiations.”

Barcelona tried to sign Silva from Milan and PSG

Although there has been no contact between Barcelona and Silva, the prospect of landing a defender of his experience on a free transfer – and Silva is willing to take a pay cut – is one of the Camp Nou board may consider. It would be hardly be a signing for the future, given Silva is 35, but he is showing no signs of slowing down having made 30 appearances for PSG this season in all competitions. Only five of Thomas Tuchel’s squad have featured more often in 2019-20.

Barcelona have courted Silva before, when he was at Milan and also during his time at the Parc des Princes, where he arrived from San Siro in 2012. The move never came together because Milan offered a better salary and PSG were not willing to negotiate his departure. Now, with Silva a free agent, he could finally get his wish to play alongside Messi if Barça decide he is worth a one-season offer.