Update: PSG 'optimistic' over Messi deal

Ligue 1

Lionel Messi appears to be on the verge of leaving Barcelona following the emergence of new reports on Friday afternoon.

Messi's contract with LaLiga giants Barcelona is set to expire at the end of the current season and, as a result, the Argentine forward's future has been the subject of intense media speculation over the last few months.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with a host of clubs, including Pep Guardiola-led Manchester City and MLS side Inter Miami, but Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain now appear to have taken the lead in the race for his signature. 

According to TNT Sports journalist Marcelo Bechler, there is a sense of "immense optimism" at PSG that the club will be able to sign Messi, with one player reportedly describing their mid-week UEFA Champions League clash against him as "the last time as a rival".

It is claimed that the Parisians have put funds aside to facilitate the deal and that the club believes it has a much more attractive project than the Catalonians, both of which will be used in an attempt to persuade the 33-year-old to move to France.

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