Pep Guardiola on Lionel Messi speculation
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Barcelona icon Lionel Messi is closing in on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract with the option of a further year, according to reports. Express Sport look at how PSG could line up this season with the addition of the 34-year-old Argentine.
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma
PSG snapped Gianluigi Donnarumma up on a free transfer this summer after his AC Milan contract expired.
Still just 22, Donnarumma is considered one of the world’s top goalkeepers, and his arrival is a significant coup.
He helped Italy win this summer’s delayed Euro 2020, performing penalty heroics against England in the final.
Donnarumma will now compete with another quality ‘keeper in Keylor Navas to solidify themselves as Mauricio Pochettino’s number one.
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Defence: Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Bernat
PSG heavily bolstered their defensive ranks earlier this summer, first with the £60m signing of Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan.
Despite Pochettino being unlikely to use him in his favoured wing-back role, Hakimi is an exciting upgrade at right-back.
Marquinhos should be partnered with former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, another free agent the club has snapped up this summer.
Pochettino has a few options at left-back, but Juan Bernat is likely his first-choice ahead of Abdou Diallo and Mitchel Bakker.
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Midfield: Paredes, Verratti, Wijnaldum
Pochettino has an array of options to use in his midfield three, with Leandro Paredes likely to be the more defensive on the pitch.
Marco Verratti is a sure starter, with Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye providing competition for places.
Georginio Wijnaldum, signed on yet another free transfer, should be an essential part of Pochettino’s plans after he urged PSG to steal the Dutchman from Barcelona’s grasp in the 11th hour.
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Attack: Messi, Neymar, Mbappe
If PSG complete the capture of Messi, he will slot seamlessly onto the right-wing and compete with fellow Argentine Angel di Maria.
Kylian Mbappe’s future is still unclear as he enters the final 12 months of his contract, with Real Madrid reportedly prowling.
However, he would play centrally as the striker in this monstrous front three, with Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Neymar on the left side of the attack.
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