Paris Saint-Germain is ready to play the world’s biggest game of “tit-for-tat” with Barcelona.
Barcelona is reportedly determined to buy PSG captain Thiago Silva this summer. The La Liga champion could activate Silva’s release clause, which would allow it to negotiate with the PSG captain, despite his club’s desire to retain him. Silva has not indicated whether he would like to leave the French capital or not.
Sky Sports reports PSG president Sheikh Nasser Al-Khelaifi is vowing to do the same to one of Barcelona’s key players, namely Lionel Messi.
“If Barca pay the buyout clause of Thiago Silva then I will meet Messi’s buy-out clause,” Al-Khelaifi reportedly told ActuSports.fr.
In February, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona. It runs until 2018 and reportedly pays him over €11 million ($14.75 million) after taxes. The contract also contains a buyout clause, believed to be in the stratospheric region of €250 million ($335 million).
Normally, those figures would scare off any potential suitors, but PSG is no normal club, and this is no ordinary time. The Ligue 1 (French first division) champion is owned by Qatar Sports Investment — an arm of the oil and gas-rich country’s royal family — and it has no qualms about targeting and buying the world’s most expensive players. On Tuesday, PSG broke the French transfer record when it signed Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani for €64 million ($84 million).
It would shock the world if PSG met Messi’s buyout fee, but it would not secure the Argentine superstar. PSG would still have to convince Messi to leave Barcelona — a tall order considering he said he wouldn’t play for another European club after penning his new deal. However, money talks in the modern game, and PSG has plenty of it.