PSG's €100m response to Messi leaving for Barca

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 1 Apr 2023 10:20 BST
  • 3 min read
Lionel Messi, Barcelona, 2022/23

Paris Saint-Germain risk losing Lionel Messi to Barcelona this summer, but they are going all-out to sign another attacking force in Victor Osimhen.

PSG signed Messi on a free transfer from Barca in the summer of 2021 with the Catalan giants wrestling with a debt which, at its height, stood at €1.35 billion.

But the Argentine World Cup winner has so far refused to extend his stay in the French capital beyond this summer, and Barca vice president Rafa Yuste has confirmed the club are in talks to bring Messi 'home'.

READ: Barcelona CONFIRM Messi contact as LaLiga open door to transfer

"We have contacts with Messi," he said. "I'd love for him to return. The beautiful stories in life must end well. Messi definitely loves Barcelona and the city, so we hope we can find the right conditions to continue his history here."

Whilst PSG would be loath to lose Messi, they simply won't countenance him and Kylian Mbappe leaving in the same transfer window, and the latter has continued to flirt with Real Madrid despite his U-turn last May.

Osimhen a solution at No.9

One point of contention for Mbappe has been the fact that he has had to lead the line at the Parc des Princes this season, with Mauro Icardi, the only other viable No.9 on the books, out on loan at Galatasaray.

READ: Victor Osimhen: Napoli give Man Utd and Chelsea ASTRONOMICAL asking price

The new France captain wants to play off a striker as he does with France, and that striker would very well be Napoli star Osimhen next season.

"[PSG sporting director] Luis Campos is looking at Victor Osimhen," report French media outlet RMC Sport. "The Napoli striker's performances have alerted several clubs, but PSG have gone a step further.

"Campos met Osimhen's entourage to convince him to join Paris. The player hasn't given his consent, but he isn't against a move."

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is understood to want more than €100 million for his star striker, but PSG could attempt to throw some players in as counterweights, with Icardi joining Julian Draxler, Gini Wijnaldum and Leandro Paredes on the transfer list.