Argentina captain Lionel Messi has reached an “agreement in principle” to renew his contract at Paris St-Germain, says BBC Sport’s Guillem Balague.
Messi, 35, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, is out of contract at the French club in June 2023.
Earlier this week Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he “would love” Messi to return to the Spanish club where he spent 21 years.
But Balague says Barca have not approached Messi about a return.
He will sign a one-year deal with the option of another year and the agreement has come after four months of talks between PSG director of football Luis Campos and Messi’s father Jorge.
That was followed by a key meeting in Doha with PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
“It is practically all agreed with PSG,” says European football expert Balague. “Barcelona have not approached him or his dad to offer anything.
“So it is not that Messi does not want to return to Barcelona. He has not been asked the question.
“Messi is happy with it all and when back from his holidays the agreement will speed up.
“His life in Paris is balanced, happy, everybody is enjoying it and he has a real possibility of winning the Champions League again. Plus, it will help him be a candidate again for the Ballon d’Or.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was named player of the tournament at the World Cup as Argentina won the title for the third time with a penalty shoot-out victory over France.
After leaving Barcelona, Messi signed a two-year contract as a free agent, with the option of a third year, in 2021.
He has made 53 appearances for the Ligue 1 side so far, scoring 23 goals in all competitions.
The Argentine has now won one World Cup, four Champions League titles, one Copa America, 10 La Liga trophies with Barcelona and a Ligue 1 crown in France with PSG.
Considered one of the greatest players of all time, he scored a record 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona, the club he joined as a 13-year-old.
He ended his association with the Catalan club in 2021, when they could no longer afford to honour the new contract they agreed with him because of La Liga’s salary limit.—BBC