Lionel Messi is reportedly already scouting the Paris real estate scenario looking for a house, according to reports.
In fine form this season, the Barca talisman star has scored 23 goals and registering six assists across all competitions. However, it’s been altogether a rough ride for all at Barcelona especially off-pitch and a move away from the Nou Camp for Messi could well be on the cards.
Although the 33-year-old previously outlined his desire to leave, the club managed to prevent Messi from leaving which left him less than pleased, to say the least, and were hopeful of a positive season under Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona have since been on the upswing recently despite still lagging some distance behind first-placed Atletico Madrid which are win strong contention to be frontrunners for the La Liga title.
Barcelona as yet look unlikely to pick up the Champions League crown either, with the club trailing PSG 4-1 on aggregate after their first leg totally buckling under on home turf to a magnificent PSG side inspired by a sizzling Mbappe.
It’s no secret Manchester City would love to secure the player’s signing despite Pep Guardiola constantly professing his desire for his former charge to retire in Barcelona, but, regardless, it’s PSG who now seem frontrunners.
Spanish website OkDiario have claimed Messi is already looking for a house in Paris, with director Eduardo Inda stating:
“Messi is probing the real estate market, and it is not exactly that of Barcelona.
“He is probing, looking at flats and houses in Paris.
“The PSG players live in three different areas of Paris. Two of them are in exclusive areas within the city and the other option is for him to go to live where Neymar resides from the beginning, which is 15 kilometers from Paris.”
Inda claims there’s just a ’10 per cent’ chance the veteran will decide to remain at the Nou Camp, especially with the club mired deeply in financial crisis and scandals.
Meanwhile, coach Ronald Koeman is now singing a new song about his Barcelona talisman – insisting he’s never been critical of Messi all the while.
“When I spoke about the experienced players I was not talking about him,” he said.
“He keeps scoring lots of goals. It’s the others that have to start making a difference, not Messi. He is already making a difference and he did it again in this game.
“Everyone could see that we lacked intensity in rhythm in the first half. It’s a good thing that as the captain Messi demands more intensity.”
Former Barcelona star Rivaldo believes Messi will end up in France rather than in England.
“This may well have been Lionel Messi’s last match for Barcelona at Camp Nou in the Champions League,” he said.
“Based on the quality PSG showed, I’m sure he might be thinking about joining them.
“I want Messi to stay at Barcelona but I understand why he’d want to leave at the moment when the club is not guaranteeing him good chances of fighting for important titles regularly.
“He can’t keep taking responsibility for the team on his own. Last summer, he saw Luis Suarez leave in an incomprehensible transfer that has made Atletico Madrid stronger.
“I believe he will leave the club at the end of season.”
Messi will again be in action tonight as Barcelona face Sevilla in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final looking to turn the tide.
Ivan Rakitic and Jules Kunde struck in the first fixture to give Julien Lopetegui’s side a strong advantage heading into the return leg.
All eyes will be anxiously waiting to see if Messi can produce a masterclass to keep Barcelona’s hopes of silverware alive.