Messi to Paris: Barca’s nightmare and PSG’s dream?

The French giant will be eager to have the Argentine in its ranks

As Lionel Messi lands in Paris for the Champions League contest on Wednesday, the inevitable temptation is to think ahead to next season and wonder if the Argentine might be a regular fixture in the French capital.

That remains the nightmare scenario for Barcelona fans, even if their new president Joan Laporta announced following his election victory on Sunday that he was “convinced he wants to stay.”

On the evidence of the first leg of its Champions League last-16 tie, PSG has bypassed Barca. Its 4-1 win at the Camp Nou means it would take a stunning turnaround in Wednesday’s return leg to stop it from reaching the quarterfinals. A move to one of Spain’s giants was long seen as the pinnacle for any player, but times have changed, as proven by Neymar’s transfer to Paris for a world record €222 million ($264m at the time) in 2017.

PSG and City are probably the only likely destinations for Messi should he leave. But could a switch to Paris really happen? Money may have once proven no obstacle for PSG, but the current climate means signing Messi could be beyond even it. A place in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, at Messi’s expense, should not be.

Wednesday’s fixtures: PSG vs Barcelona; Liverpool vs Leipzig, both matches at 1.30 a.m. (Thursday).

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