BARCELONA

PSG make offer for Messi after star's Barcelona contract expires

AS has learned that PSG have made an offer to Lionel Messi, whose contract with Barcelona ended on 30 June.

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PSG make offer for Messi after star's Barcelona contract expires
Gustavo Pagano Getty Images

For the first time in 17 years, Lionel Messi is not a Barcelona player. With his contract having expired at midnight on 30 June, the Blaugrana captain has officially been a free agent for almost two days now, though Barcelona president Joan Laporta has remained calm and is confident that the captain will eventually put pen to paper on a new deal.

While Messi is currently focused on international duty with Argentina at the Copa América, his father and agent, Jorge, continues to manage his affairs and has maintained contact with Barcelona.

Although all indications are that Messi will renew with Barça, AS has learned that PSG has made an offer to the 34-year-old striker, which will come as a worrying development for the so-far-relaxed Joan Laporta.

Messi a long-time desire of PSG

The Parisian club had been linked with Messi on several occasions over the first few months of this year, with sporting director Leonardo making no attempts to hide the club’s interest in him. "Great players like Messi will always be on PSG's list," he told France Football back in January.

However the Messi-PSG talk has died down in recent months as the Rosario-born player looked set to remain at Camp Nou, which still seems like the most likely outcome. Nevertheless PSG have attempted to take advantage of the unique situation by making an approach for the out-of-contract star.

Lionel Messi will have to make a decision on his future after the Copa América.

Messi could culminate a summer of acquisitions for PSG

As Barcelona make every effort to tie down their long-time talisman, PSG have been particularly active on the summer transfer market to date, with the Ligue 1 giants having already signed Gini Wijnaldum, and with Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos set to be confirmed imminently.

Landing Messi would certainly be the icing on the cake this summer for PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi, whose offer is understood to be financially superior to what Barcelona has offered the Argentina captain.