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Nasser Al-Khelaifi: ‘Lionel Messi is happy at Paris Saint-Germain’

Nasser Al-Khelaifi: ‘Lionel Messi is happy at Paris Saint-Germain’

Paris Saint-Germain owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi has insisted that star forward Lionel Messi is “happy” at the club amid speculation about his future.

The 35-year-old arrived at the Parc des Princes on a free transfer in the summer of 2021, following a trophy-laden and record-breaking 21-year spell with Barcelona.

Messi initially struggled to hit the ground running with PSG, but he has regained his form in front of goal this season, contributing with 12 goals and 14 assists in 19 appearances for the French giants across all competitions.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner now faces an uncertain future at the club as his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

A return to Camp Nou has been mooted for Messi, with Barca president Joan Laporta having publicly expressed his desire to re-sign the legendary forward, while Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City have also been credited with an interest.

Lionel Messi in PSG training on August 19, 2022© Reuters

However, PSG chief Al-Khelaifi believes that Messi is content to remain in the French capital and has stated that his future will be decided towards the end of the season.

“He is with us. He is a Paris Saint-Germain player and has a contract with us,” Al-Khelaifi told talkSPORT. “He has a contract with us and we will see at the end of the season. He’s happy in Paris.”

Messi hinted last weekend that he is considering extending his contract at PSG as both he and his family are settled in Paris.

“I like Paris a lot more now, I have discovered the city and I find it magnificent,” Messi told reproters via Le Parisien. “In the first year, there was a huge change.

“Things happened very suddenly, it was not my objective to leave Barcelona, and everything about it was very abrupt. After this long period and the difficult times, I am happy to live where I live, and my family and I are enjoying Paris.

Argentina's Lionel Messi pictured on November 22, 2022© Reuters

“It was hard at the start, we had stayed all our lives in the same place, I had never moved, and I did not know what it was like to leave.

“We did not expect this, it happened very quickly, and we had to leave Barcelona overnight. We found ourselves in a new environment.

“We had our life in Barcelona, our friends, our habits, and we found ourselves in a different place, with another language, another football, another climate, I suffered a lot from that. It was hard. But, today, I enjoy everything including football.”

Messi has won over 30 major honours at club level during his remarkable career, but the World Cup still eludes the Argentina captain.

Indeed, Messi and Argentina began their 2022 World Cup campaign in disappointing fashion after suffering a shock 2-1 defeat against Saudi Arabia in their Group C opener on Tuesday.

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