PSG's starting XI with Lionel Messi
PSG look set to complete the signing of Lionel Messi over the coming days. We take a look at how Mauricio Pochettino could deploy the Argentine forward.
Mauricio Pochettino is about to welcome Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain. Over the past 24 hours, Barcelona players have taken to social media to bid farewell to the club's greatest ever player.
Messi and Pochettino already have one football club in common. Pochettino came through the ranks at Newell's Old Boys in Rosario, Argentina. The former Tottenham boss won the Argentinian league title with Newell's in 1991 under current Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Messi grew up in Rosario and went on to play for the club at youth level, before making the move to Europe aged 13.
After 17 years at Camp Nou, Messi looks set to join the Ligue 1 club. Pochettino's team finished second behind eventual winners Lille last season. With Messi in their side for this season's campaign, there will be no excuses this time around.
PSG were pipped by a point in the 2020/21 season, despite having Di Maria, Neymar and Mbappé to count on going forward.
Possible PSG XIs with Lionel Messi
Donnarumma - Hakimi, Ramos, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bernat - Verratti, Wijnaldum - Messi, Neymar, Mbappé.
Donnarumma - Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos - Paredes, Wijnaldum, Verratti - Di Maria, Messi, Neymar, Mbappé.
Questions remain over the future of Mbappé. Real Madrid have their sights on the 22-year-old but it remains to be seen if he will join the LaLiga giants this summer. Should he stay at PSG and sign a new deal, the club run by Nasser Al-Khelaifi will be paying €100 million a year on salaries for Messi, Neymar and the France international.
A front four of Neymar, Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Angel Di Maria is now looking increasingly likely with PSG set to offer Messi a two-year deal with the option of an additional year until 2024.