Lionel Messi: Barcelona interest in five players emerges amid PSG and Man City links

Lionel Messi speaks to reporters at Barcelona Airport

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Lionel Messi wants a strong sporting project in order to stay with Barcelona. And, now, reports have suggested the La Liga giants have five targets in mind ahead of the summer transfer window. Manchester City and PSG are both keen to land the veteran, who will become a free agent at the end of the season.

Though Barcelona have struggled this season, Messi has been a shining light.

The Argentina international has found the net 23 times across all competitions this season, considerably more than the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite.

However, Messi’s long-term future at Barcelona remains up in the air.

Manchester City would love to secure his signature, with Pep Guardiola long dreaming of a reunion.

And PSG are in the mix, too, especially with the Ligue 1 giants facing the possibility of Kylian Mbappe leaving for Real Madrid.

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Marca say Messi could stay at Barcelona, however, with the 33-year-old still yet to make a decision on his long-term future.

And it’s claimed Barcelona have five transfer targets in mind as they look to keep the South American at the club for the rest of his career.

Erling Haaland is on their radar, with the Borussia Dortmund star scoring 17 goals and clocking up four assists from 18 Bundesliga matches so far.

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Barcelona are still huge admirers of Matthijs de Ligt, despite being rebuffed by the Juventus star back in the summer transfer window of 2019.

Sevilla powerhouse Jules Kounde is also of interest, though Manchester United are set to provide fierce competition when it comes to recruiting the Frenchman.

But with the trio set to be expensive, the report also lists two other targets.

Georginio Wijnaldum is yet to sign a new contract with Liverpool and, therefore, could be on the move when the transfer window reopens.

And that’s the same with Sergio Aguero, whose time with Manchester City appears to be drawing to a close.

Meanwhile, Inter Miami president David Beckham has admitted he’d love to bring both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to America during his time at the helm.

They’ve already snapped up Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi.

Talks are continuing with former Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs, who is currently plying his trade with Premier League strugglers West Brom, while they’ve also landed Ryan Shawcross.

But Beckham would love to sign Messi and Ronaldo, saying: “The player has to be right for the team, still have ambition and want to win.

“So whatever player we talk to, we have to make sure that is a priority.

“Of course, we always want to bring in great players. Miami is a great pull for anyone and those kinds of players (Messi and Ronaldo) are who we aspire to bring here.”

Beckham also claimed Inter would trust their academy, adding: “I have said from day one that our academy system is a massive part of this club and if we can bring players through here that have lived and breathed Inter Miami then that is the goal.

“But we also know that being in Miami, our fans want to see the big stars.

“We already have players like Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi who add to the glitz and glamour but also going forward we want to have the opportunity to bring some great names in.

“Leo and Cristiano have been mentioned (in the question just asked), they have been at the top of their game and been the best for the last 15 years because of hard work. There is very little luck behind it.

“Sir Alex Ferguson was the master at choosing the right player, he didn’t always bring the best player in the world, he brought the right player for the club and that is one of the things that I have taken into this place.”

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