Barcelona fearful of Messi exit

Barcelona are increasingly fearful that Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the season amid speculation that Paris Saint-Germain are hovering.

Catalan newspaper Sports reports Camp Nou chiefs are scared Messi will depart the Catalan club with the mere mention of a transfer causing "earthquakes" in the boardroom.

Of course, speculation around Messi's future is nothing new, but there was a quiet confidence at Barcelona not so long ago that they would be able to convince their best player to stay. That confidence seems to have dissipated.

Messi's Barca contract expires on June 30 this year.

And any mention of his potential exit causes 'earthquakes' among Nou Camp chiefs, according to Sport.

On Monday, French giants PSG stirred the pot again confirming Messi is on their 'transfer shortlist'.

Sporting director Leonardo admitted the club will try to sign Argentine superstar after he told the cash-strapped club he wanted to quit last summer.

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 Barca days.

And the appointment of Messi's compatriot Mauricio Pochettino as PSG's boss could help lure him to the Parc des Princes.

In December, Neymar said: 

What I want most is to be with him on the pitch again. He could be in my place, he has no problem. I want to play with him and I'm sure next year we will do it.

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.

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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