Lionel Messi and his family are learning French in the latest sign that the Argentine star will opt for a move to Paris Saint-Germain when his contract at Barcelona ends this summer, according to journalist Geoffroy Garetier.
Speaking on Canal+ show ‘The Late Football Club’, football expert Garetier said (in French): “The info I have right now is that Lionel Messi and his whole family, wife and children, are taking French lessons.
“Why would they take French lessons if it is to sign for Manchester City? It would make no sense. I trust the source, it is in my eyes very reliable.
“In my opinion, this can only lead to the fact that Messi will leave Barcelona.”
Messi, 33, is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of June and could look to complete the move away from the Nou Camp which he was forced to abandon last summer.
Manchester City – where former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola remains in charge – and French giants PSG are viewed as the Argentina star’s two most likely landing spots.
PSG director Leonardo last week stoked rumors that the club would make a move for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner by admitting that a player of Messi’s caliber “would always be on their list.”
Speaking on French television, journalist Garetier added that financial issues at the Catalan club could also mean they are less reluctant to let Messi leave than they were previously.
“[Barcelona] can no longer bear Messi’s salary, which is too large, €80 million, €90 million,” he added.
“His wife will also have a predominant word to decide his destination. However, between PSG and Manchester, it is obvious that Paris holds the [advantage]. So for French classes, enrolling in school, to integrate into everyday life, it makes sense to me.”
Aside from the Paris lifestyle, PSG also boast the added attraction of a link-up with former Barcelona teammate Neymar as well as an Argentine manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Speaking recently, Messi’s international teammate and PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes said it was the club’s “responsibility” to try to persuade Messi to join this summer.