PSG to begin contract talks with Messi after World Cup, says president Al-Khelaifi

Argentine forward joined French giants on a two-year deal in 2021

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Paris Saint-Germain will open talks with Lionel Messi over a contract extension after the World Cup, the club's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said.

Messi was in fine form for PSG ahead of the season break for the World Cup, with the Argentine forward scoring 12 goals and providing 14 assists in all competitions. It is a marked improvement on his debut campaign in Paris, having joined the Ligue 1 giants from Barcelona on a free transfer but was only able to score six goals during a season disrupted by injury.

Messi has carried his form over to the World Cup, where he has led Argentina into a quarter-final showdown with the Netherlands, scoring three goals in four games so far.

When asked if the 35-year-old superstar is interested in extending his stay in Paris, Al-Khelaifi told Sky Sports: "Definitely".

"He performed fantastic this season for us, he's scored a lot of goals and assists for the national team and for the club. So what we agreed together - that after the World Cup, sit down together. But both sides - our side of the club and him - are very happy, so we will talk after the World Cup."

Al-Khelaifi's words will be welcomed by PSG fans after speculation emerged that Messi could leave at the end of the season, with a move to MLS side Inter Miami strongly linked.

Another player out of contract this summer is Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, who was previously linked with a move to PSG in the close season. Like Messi, Rashford is still involved in the World Cup as England prepare to face France in Saturday's quarter-final.

Al-Khelaifi said "every club" would be interested in signing the England international on a free transfer and that PSG had spoken to him previously.

"But the moment was not a good moment for both sides," he said. "Today if he's a free agent of course we can talk to him directly but we are not going to talk to him now. Let him focus on the World Cup. Then after in January, hopefully, if we're interested we will talk to him."

Updated: December 09, 2022, 7:13 AM