FC Barcelona Could Sign Three World Cup Winners Including Messi
including Lionel Messi this summer.Getty Images
FC Barcelona have three Qatar 2022 World Cup winners on their shortlist of possible signings this summer – including their greatest ever player Lionel Messi – according to El Nacional.
With his Paris Saint Germain contract running down on June 30, Messi has been linked to a possible Camp Nou return. In recent weeks, president Joan Laporta has been trying to convince La Liga that the cash-strapped Catalans can make the deal work through a viability plan.
Messi has a €350 million ($375.5 million) a year offer on the table from Al-Hilal which he has already accepted according to El Chiringuito, though his father and agent Jorge Messi has denied there is any agreement in place as has the Saudi club to Mundo Deportivo.
If Barca can manage to steer Messi away from the big money and dress him in Blaugrana again, they would of course land the seven-time Ballon d’Or holder on the same kind of free transfer which saw him wind up at PSG in 2021.
Elsewhere on the market, though, Barca could also pick up his Argentina teammate – and the scorer of the second goal in the Qatar 2022 final where La Albiceleste beat France – Angel Di Maria for nothing in a similar deal.
According to Relevo, there is a “95-98%” chance of the winger not renewing his contract at Juventus and moving on at the end of the season, with former club Benfica interested in acquiring his services.
Rounding off the trio of Argentine world champions is Leandro Paredes. The midfielder is also at Juventus, but on loan from PSG where he previously shared a locker room with both Di Maria and Messi in the French capital.
As Paredes has no intention of staying in either Italy or France, Barca could pick him up as a low cost option if they can’t afford to lure the likes of Martin Zubimendi or Ruben Neves.
The former Boca Juniors star has just 13 months to run on his contract, so his permanent Ligue 1 employers could look to cash in what they can before 2023/2024 as opposed to seeing him walk without receiving a penny at the end of that campaign.
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Based in Barcelona since 2019 after six years in São Paulo, I have written on these topics at length through previews and analysis while having also covered match reports for tournaments such as the Copa America. As well as writing for Forbes Sports, I edit Yellow & Green Football: a site on Brazilian soccer that is part of the Guardian Sport Network and a partner of O Globo.
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