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Lionel Messi is set to extend his stay at Paris Saint-Germain after reaching a ‘verbal pact’ with the French giants to continue his career with them for the foreseeable future, according to reports. The 35-year-old, who recently led Argentina to their first World Cup triumph since 1986, will be a free agent at the end of the campaign as things stand and has been tentatively linked with a number of high-profile clubs in recent months.
Messi has been mentioned in connection with a potential move to Inter Miami, the MLS side owned by David Beckham, while Barcelona have also been tipped to pursue the idea of bringing him back to the Nou Camp when the season draws to a close. However, it seems as though Messi has decided to stay with PSG for at least another year after reaching a loose agreement with those in power at the Parc des Princes, according to Fabrizio Romano.
It is said that a ‘verbal pact’ exists between Messi and PSG to continue together, with a new meeting between the club and his representatives in the works to discuss the specific details of his proposed new contract. The length of the extension is yet to be firmly decided, while his new salary is also under consideration as things stand.
Nothing has been signed and sealed as of yet, but all things are pointing to a comprehensive agreement being reached between both parties over the next few days. PSG are in no rush to wrap things up as their plan to keep hold of Messi is already clear, with no other clubs thought to be in the running to secure his signature at the moment.
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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has already conceded that it would be almost impossible for the Catalan giants to bring Messi back, regardless of how much they would like to do so in advance of next season.
“Messi is a PSG player and has a contract with them,” said Laporta last month. “He has won the World Cup and the Cules [Barcelona fans] have been very happy.
“What I don’t want to do is generate expectations that at the moment are very difficult. For us he is the best player of all time, we have had him here and I am convinced that in his heart he is a Cule and will always be linked to Barca. Whether or not he comes back as a player, at the moment he is at PSG and we would very much love him to come back one day, but we’ll see.”
Meanwhile, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi recently insisted that he fully expects Messi to stay at the club next season, telling reporters: “I think that if both want to extend the contract, he will stay. We are going to talk after the World Cup, but I confirm a thousand times he is very happy at the club, he’s having a great season, he’s adapted to French football and I think he wants to stay.”
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