Barcelona

Messi's father dismisses latest PSG talk: "Yet another invention!"

Lionel Messi has again been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain but the Barcelona star's father has labelled the speculation "false".

'Yet another invention!' - Messi's father dismisses latest Paris Saint-Germain speculation

Lionel Messi's father and agent Jorge has categorically denied meeting with Paris Saint-Germain officials. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner's future has been a hot topic of debate since trying to secure a move away from Camp Nou in the pre-season.

Barça blocked Messi's exit but he is due to become a free agent at the end of the campaign and has been strongly linked with the likes of Manchester City, Inter Milan and PSG. Spanish programme El Chiringuito claimed on Monday that PSG are the frontrunners to sign the 33-year-old after holding talks with Jorge at the Qatari consulate in Barcelona last week.

Jorge hit out at similar suggestions in November and was quick to dismiss the latest reports in an Instagram post. "False. Yet another invention," he posted over a screenshot of the transfer rumour. "I've been in Argentina since September. #Fakenews."

Messi close to new goals milestone

Argentina international Messi scored as Barcelona returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Levante in LaLiga on Sunday. That took Messi to 449 goals in the Spanish top flight and he is one shy of becoming the first player to reach 450 with just one club in the top five European leagues. However, he has yet to assist a goal and has scored just five times in 11 LaLiga outings this season - three of those from open play - at a rate of a goal every 189 minutes.

That compares to a goal every 115 minutes last season (25 in 33 games), on top of 21 assists - the most of any player in the division, Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal being next highest with 11. Messi will be looking to improve on those figures when Barca host leaders Real Sociedad, having been involved in 14 goals in 10 home league meetings with Wednesday's opponents, including four goals and two assists in his last five such outings.