Lionel Messi acknowledges Chelsea transfer interest and opens up on joining PSG from Barcelona

Lionel Messi has acknowledged that “several clubs” were interested in securing his signature this summer, but that he was completely won over by the project going on at PSG.

The Argentine sensationally left Barcelona in August after 21 years in Spain, with the Catalan giants’ financial struggles meaning they could no longer afford to keep hold of their all-time record goalscorer.

Messi had offered to take a 50 per cent pay cut to remain at the club, but even that couldn’t ease Barca’s deep-rooted debts that now stand at over £1billion.

At the time of his departure, the two clubs reportedly leading the race to secure Messi’s services were French champions PSG and Chelsea , with Manchester City’s £100million purchase of Jack Grealish keeping them out of the running, despite previously being linked with the players in previous windows.

Messi didn’t take long to make up his mind, and in a recent interview with France Football said that although a number of clubs had made contact with him over securing his signature, he was quickly swayed by the Parisians’ efforts to bring him to the Parc des Princes.

“I was lucky to be contacted by several clubs including PSG,” said the 34-year-old, who scored his first goal in a PSG shirt against Manchester City in the Champions League in September.

“I am grateful to the club because from the start they treated me very well. They showed they really wanted me and took care of me.

I thank them because I am very happy today. I received other offers, but we came to an agreement with PSG quite quickly.

“I was obviously won over by the project, the players it has, the quality of the group all these elements made it easier to find an agreement.”

Messi was the most high-profile signing of PSG’s window, although they also boosted their squad with the additions of other top players like Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Achraf Hakimi.

They add to the club’s already stacked squad, which features Messi’s former Barca teammate Neymar Jr and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe.

“Knowing that I had friends in the locker room allowed me to tell myself that things were going to be simple for me to adjust,” added Messi.

“And I was not wrong, because it was very easy to integrate myself, especially because there are many players who speak Spanish like me.”

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