PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN have confirmed Barcelona's Lionel Messi is on their transfer 'shortlist' as they 'follow the matter closely' ahead of a battle with Manchester City.
The French champs' sporting director Leonardo admitted the club will try to sign Argentine superstar Messi if the Catalan giants' skipper is available.
Messi's deal at Barca expires in June and after he told the cash-strapped club he wanted to quit last summer before U-turning, he could soon be the most-desired free agent ever.
Leonardo told France Football: "Great players like Messi will always be on PSG's shortlist, but now isn't the time to talk or dream about this.
"We are sitting at the table following this matter closely.
"Four months in football is an eternity, especially in this day and age, but our chair is reserved at the table."
A move to Paris could see Messi reunite with Brazilian Neymar after the pair formed a dynamic forward line with Uruguayan Luis Suarez back in their Blaugrana days.
And the appointment of Messi's compatriot Mauricio Pochettino as PSG's boss could help lure him to the Parc des Princes.
Ex-Spurs boss Poch took over at the start of January after Thomas Tuchel was brutally axed on Christmas Eve.
He hinted the door was open for Messi after saying 'any big player in the world is always welcome in PSG'.
But PSG will face competition from City who have made no secret of their desire to reunite Messi with former boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad after failing to do so in the summer.
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Barca will not be able to try and negotiate a new deal with Messi until after the club's upcoming presidential elections which have been pushed back to March 7.
And after Messi revealed his dream to play in the MLS, City are hopeful the prospect of a stint at their sister club New York City FC could help facilitate a move to Manchester.
David Beckham's Inter Miami have also been mentioned as a possible destination – with former England women's boss Phil Neville poised to take over as boss.
Messi was sent off for the first time ever in his club career on Sunday after lashing out at Athletic Bilbao's Asier Villalibre in the dying seconds of Barca's Super Cup defeat.
And the Argentine maestro will have plenty of time to consider his future as he is facing up to a TWLEVE-MATCH ban with Spanish media calling for Messi to apologise for his violent conduct.
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