Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are ready to sell as many as 10 players to help fund the transfer of Lionel Messi, claims a report.
The Ligue 1 champions wasted no time in making a move for the 34-year-old as soon as they were informed he was leaving the Camp Nou.
The shock news emerged on Thursday and by the weekend PSG officials had already held talks with Messi’s entourage.
Messi admitted interest from the Qatari-funded club on Sunday.
Asked about PSG’s interest, Messi said: “That’s honestly one possibility, to reach those heights. At the minute, I’ve got nothing confirmed with anybody.
“When the press release was published, I had a lot of calls, a lot of clubs were interested.
“At the minute, I’ve not got anything closed, but we are talking about a lot of things.”
PSG are believed to have offered Messi a two-year deal and a signing-on fee of £21m. They believed his commercial value means the transfer will “pay for itself”, but still need to reduce their squad to balance the books.
But, according to The Athletic, PSG may still have to ship out 10 players as a result.
The report claims, even though the market is a challenging one because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they “anticipate” interest in the players they are looking to move on.
The French side have eight keepers on their books with five names in the first-team squad on their website.
Keylor Navas, Gianluigu Donnarumma, Sergio Rico, Denis Franchi and Alexander Letellier are all considered first -team options. And that doe not include Alphonse Areola who has been loaned to West Ham.
Idrissa Gueye, Mauro Icardi, Abdou Diallo, Thilo Kehrer and Rafinha are all likely to be shifted out.
But one player who is not up for sale, per the report, is France star Kylian Mbappe.
The forward has yet to sign a deal on the table at the Parc des Princes. He is out of contract next summer.
Mauricio Pochettino has said that a move for Messi does not mean Mbappe has to be sold.
“I have not spoken with [Messi],” Pochettino told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Ligue 1 opener against Troyes. “And [any move] would not mean that Kylian would leave.”
PSG are desperate to keep the 19-year-old and are hopeful the arrival of Messi will help them to convince Mbappe to extend his stay.
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