By Yusuf Mutiu
Nasser Al Khelaifi, president of PSG, has revealed in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports that the club will not try to tie Lionel Messi to a new deal after his current deal expires in the summer of 2023.
He, however, confirmed that both Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are happy with their roles in the capital city, and the club could try to bring in Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, who finishes his contract with the English Giant next June. He also shrugged off the rumour that the club may try to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, as he described the deal as “impossible”.
“Messi is very happy, you can see that with the national team. If a player is not happy, you will see that his performance is not good for the national team. This season he has had a fantastic performance with us, he has scored a lot of goals and provided a lot of assists for the national team and for the club,” the Qatari said of Messi before confirming that the two sides will sit down after the World Cup to discuss his renewal.
On Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Khelaifi said: “He is a legend, he is a star. As a footballer, I admire him, and I love him as a player and a professional. A fantastic player. At 37 years old, he’s doing incredible. But all the clubs want to sign him too. The problem today for us is that we have the position covered, so it’s not easy to replace the position we have with him. It would be impossible, honestly, for us.”
Of Mbappé, who has been widely reported to be preparing to leave PSG, he said: “For me, he is a top player and a top human being, a professional. So for me it was fundamental that he stayed and that he didn’t leave for free. That’s another important point, but as I’ve always said, I always trusted him, I trusted his family, because we created a special relationship with the player and with them, and that’s why… he’s Parisian, he’s French and he’s always proud to be in France. He’s going to play against England and that’s what it’s all about, he represents France and his national team, but also his club.”
At the end, the PSG chief president spoke about Rashford, who was widely linked with a move to PSG in the summer and he’s currently in the final months of his contract with Manchester United, Al Khelaifi confirmed the interest of the club in the English forward and that he’ll try to bring him to France in the summer.
“We don’t hide the interest. We spoke to him. But the timing was not good for both parties. Maybe in the summer, why not? Today if he is 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 in January, if we are interested, we will talk to him.”