With Thursday’s announcement that Lionel Messi would not stay at Barcelona still ringing in the ears of all those of a Catalan persuasion on Friday morning, any potential hopes of a late turnaround have dissipated by the fact he is set to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi’s career will continue in Ligue 1 alongside his close friend, Neymar, and fellow countryman Mauricio Pochettino, with negotiations between the two parties having accelerated on Thursday evening.
PSG are the only club able to put together a financial package to sign Messi right now, but they will need to do some clever financial engineering work to ensure the club is able to complete the transfer.
With the state of Qatar behind the club, don’t expect any hang-ups with this deal, and they have far more room to manoeuvre than Barcelona ever did at any stage of these negotiations.
Messi will join PSG because he is attracted to their sporting project, he wants to give the team their first Champions League and because it is a very easy life in Ligue 1, alongside his friend.
The signing of Messi will also add a unique strand to the tapestry that is Kylian Mbappe’s situation with the Parisian club.
PSG don’t want to lose Mbappe, even though the player has decided to leave on a Bosman to play for Real Madrid.
Despite that, PSG believe that signing Messi and keeping Mbappe is possible, a sentiment that was echoed by Pochettino.