Angel Di Maria should continue playing in Europe for another one or two seasons despite his uncertain future with Paris Saint-Germain.

That is the view of Di Maria's father Miguel as the winger reviews his career options.

Di Maria is expected to leave PSG when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United player has only started four times in Ligue 1 since the start of 2022 and his importance to the team appears to be diminishing.

Di Maria has three goals and three assists from 20 league appearances this season, but his father Miguel believes he still has more to do in Europe and should remain there with the World Cup approaching.

"I would like him to play one or two more years in Europe and then come back [to Argentina]," Miguel said to Radio La Red. 

"He is just 34 years old and he still has a career [at the highest level]. 

"He takes great care of himself, so he has to continue playing [in Europe]." 

Di Maria has had a successful seven seasons with PSG since arriving from Old Trafford in 2015 after a disappointing campaign in the Premier League.

He is closing in on a fifth Ligue 1 title with Mauricio Pochettino's men, but is now deciding on his next move as he nears the end of the one-year contract extension he signed in 2021.

Di Maria has also been pondering his future at international level.

The veteran said after scoring once and creating another goal in the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Venezuela at La Bombonera on Friday that he had likely played for Argentina on home soil for the last time.

He thanked supporters and confirmed he would consider retiring from Argentina duty after the World Cup in Qatar at the end of this year.

"We talked later [that night] – I was very happy and he was very proud," added Miguel.

"It's on his mind and it all depends on him.

"I wish he could continue but from what he said that was his last game in Argentina and then it's Qatar and it's over, he's not going to play for Argentina anymore." 

Miguel added that when the time comes to return home, Di Maria still plans to do so with boyhood club Rosario Central.

"His idea is to come to Central for what remains in his career and finish the race – that's it for now," he said.

"He has already said retiring with Central [is his goal]. Hopefully he can achieve it. That is what he is lacking so far because he left here very young and could not enjoy anything."

Joan Laporta would be keen to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe – but only if they wanted to join Barcelona and presented more reasonable financial demands.

Both Haaland and Mbappe could be on the move at the end of this season, with Europe's biggest clubs positioning themselves to sign the best forwards of their generation.

Haaland is widely thought to have a €75million release clause at Borussia Dortmund, while Mbappe's Paris Saint-Germain contract will expire – even if the Ligue 1 giants are trying to agree a renewal.

The exciting pair therefore represent relatively cheap signings on the face of it, but both would require significant outlays in terms of wages and agents' fees.

For that reason, Barca president Laporta is struggling to see how either could arrive at Camp Nou.

"Haaland or Mbappe? If I had to choose, I would stick with what I have clearly stated," Laporta told RAC1. "The one who makes it clear they want to play for Barca, the one who wants to come here.

"For the time being, neither of the two has expressed that to me. If they don't feel like it, it will be difficult.

"What has been expressed to me is the conditions about these two deals. We would never accept to spend those figures, no way."

Barcelona's financial restrictions led to the release of Lionel Messi to PSG last year, with a move to bring the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner back also ruled out by Laporta.

Lionel Messi returning to Barcelona is not something that president Joan Laporta is considering. 

Laporta's comments on the situation came after Dani Alves and Pedri said they would love to see the Paris Saint-Germain forward back at Camp Nou. 

Messi, 34, left Barcelona after last season when the club's financial restrictions meant retaining arguably the best player in the world on a new contract was out of the question. 

Speaking on RAC 1, Laporta made it clear he was not in communication with the Argentina international at all. 

"Right now there is no fluid communication and I do not speak with him. There is no personal contact," he said. 

"He is in Paris, but I remember him with affection. I know what is said, but I don't talk to him. I hear comments from people close to me. 

"I have not received any message from Leo or from those around him about returning. The truth is that at the moment we are not considering it. 

"We are building a young team combined with people of some experience, making a good symbiosis that works again. 

"But Leo is Leo, the best player in the world. He deserves respect as a player and person. He is a winner, but it's not something we are planning." 

Reflecting on Messi's departure from the club, Laporta stated there was not much he could do. 

"For me, it sure wasn't easy, but as it happened, I thought the club had to come first – I couldn't put [Barcelona] at more risk," he said. 

"I think we did what we had to do." 

Cesc Fabregas has urged Paris Saint-Germain supporters to get behind a struggling Lionel Messi, rather than criticising his former team-mate.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner swapped Barcelona for Paris last August, ending his 21-year association with the Blaugrana.

Messi departed the Camp Nou as Barca's all-time leading appearance maker and goalscorer, having netted 672 times across 778 games in all competitions.

However, the Argentina captain has been unable to replicate that form in Ligue 1, scoring just twice in 18 appearances so far.

Mauricio Pochettino's side are well on course to regain their Ligue 1 crown, as they lead second-placed Marseille by 12 points with nine matches remaining.

But following their Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid, the likes of Messi and Neymar were jeered during PSG's next league game against Bordeaux at Parc des Princes.

Fabregas played alongside Messi at Barcelona between 2011 and 2014, winning the LaLiga title in 2012-13.

The Monaco midfielder understands the frustration of the PSG faithful, but feels the criticism of his ex-colleague is unjustified. 

 

He told Marca: "Leo's case is very simple. For me, he has been the best ever that I have seen and played with. What I have seen from him has been exceptional.

"I know what happened with PSG. The fans want to create a moment of tension with the players.

"During the match, they support you; when they sing your name, perfect. But what I saw the other day – jeering when Neymar lost the ball or whistling when they touched the ball – is very ugly.

"They justify that they get paid a lot. They lost against Real Madrid – that's fine – but didn't they want to win? That's what comes first.

"With PSG, they haven't won anything yet, for the moment, but they will surely win the league.

"You're talking about a player [Messi] who has just arrived. PSG have never had a player like this in their lives.

"It's better to be grateful, to support him and not crush him. This year or next, these guys will bring you great moments."

Julian Draxler implied he will likely leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season due to a lack of minutes.

Draxler played all 90 minutes in Germany's 2-0 friendly win against Israel on Saturday, with Chelsea duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner contributing the two goals.

He arrived at Paris Saint-Germain from Wolfsburg in 2017, racking up 131 appearances and 17 goals for the French giants, but his playing time has plummeted this season.

Draxler has been brought on as a substitute in his past six appearances for PSG dating back to February 19, playing no more than 25 minutes in any of the short cameos.

Speaking with SPORT1, Draxler highlighted his joy in having an extended run, and the struggles that come with being out of favour back at his club.

"I'm glad that I played 90 minutes again after a long time," he said.

"My situation in the club is not easy – I lack the rhythm and I need to play more games.

"I haven't spoken to the national coach about it, but he has already told us as a team that he needs fit players who are in rhythm. You'll see what happens in the summer."

Marco Verratti and Jorginho were among a group of six players to leave the Italy camp after their failure to qualify for the World Cup. 

Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne, Domenico Berardi and Gianluca Mancini also returned to their clubs ahead of schedule, with the latter two having sustained knocks. 

Italy coach Roberto Mancini is expected to ring the changes in a friendly against Turkey on Tuesday following the Azzurri's shock defeat to North Macedonia in a World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final on Thursday. 

The Euro 2020 champions' first ever home loss in World Cup qualifying meant they failed to reach successive finals for the first time in their history. 

Instead of taking on Portugal in the play-off final, Italy will depart for Konya on Monday. 

Barcelona have re-established themselves this term after a strong January transfer window.

Barca head coach Xavi, appointed in November, has overseen a major form reversal culminating in last week's 4-0 Clasico win.

The Blaugrana have their sights set on more additions as they continue to re-build after Lionel Messi's exit last year.

TOP STORY - BARCELONA SET SIGHTS ON SALAH

Barcelona boss Xavi is determined to land Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah , claims Mundo Deportivo.

The cash-strapped Catalans have switched their attention from the race for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

Salah is yet to re-sign with Liverpool where he is out of contract in 2023.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he will not put the club at financial risk in order to sign Erling Haaland, per Fabrizio Romano for Mundo Deportivo.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool will not pursue West Ham United's Declan Rice amid interest from several clubs in the England international midfielder, claims Football Insider.

- Leeds United has rejected a £29million bid from  Barcelona  for 25-year-old Brazilian winger  Raphinha , whose release clause is set at £60million, according to Sport.

- Arsenal midfielder  Granit Xhaka  remains a transfer target for  Roma head coach Jose Mourinho, per the Gazzetta dello Sport.

- According to the Daily Mail, Wolves and Portugal winger  Pedro Neto  is on  Paris Saint-Germain's  wanted list.

Joan Laporta says Barcelona being linked with a move for Kylian Mbappe is "part of the show business of football" and vowed the club will not "lose our heads" in the transfer market.

Real Madrid are strong favourites to sign Mbappe when his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires at the end of the season.

Barca have reportedly emerged as contenders to lure the France striker to LaLiga in a move that would be hard to take for their fierce rivals.

But Blaugrana president Laporta brushed of talk of the Catalan giants landing the prolific 23-year-old as a free agent.

He told Mundo Deportivo: "I think this is part of the show business of football, I have nothing to say about it."

Laporta added: "Here, everyone is free to launch messages and proclamations and we already know that this is part of the world of football, that the big clubs are interested in great players. 

"But I'm not going to start, and you have to allow me not to, to talk about players because if I do, the only thing I can do is harm the interests of our club. 

"If we talk about a player and we had the intention of signing him, we would increase the price. Neither with this player nor with others do I want to comment on issues because it would harm the interests of the club. 

"The technical secretary and sports management are working to improve our squad, which is getting better and better, we are more and more satisfied. 

"I want it to be clearly understood that we prioritise the team above all else, a team reinforced in each of its lines and what we do not participate in is raising players or looking for players who are more than the team. 

"What we want to strengthen is the team we have that plays based on a genuine Barca system. The club thinks that this is what the football team needs, this genuine style that for me is the key to everything and is what we have to do, a team that can play this system with highly talented players."

Barca lost Lionel Messi due to the club's huge financial troubles and Laporta says there is no chance they will be reckless with recruitment. 

He added: "I insist, I will not talk about specific players but I can tell you that we will not carry out any operation that puts the institution at risk. 

"It has been a maxim that we have followed since I became president again, it happened to us in various circumstances and we are going to continue with this philosophy and this criterion, not to put the institution at risk with operations that we wouldn't do, even if we were already healthy.

"So, you can talk about players, about big-money operations in which Barca is not going to lose its head. The partners are calm because we are not going to lose our heads for an operation of these magnitudes. 

"Most of the players want to come to Barca, they like the club, the team, our philosophy, our way of working, our understanding football. And this is good, we are verifying it in many cases and daily. 

"They will have to adapt to Barca's salary levels and to an economic structure of the operation that maintains the sustainability and balance of the club."

Kylian Mbappe is expected to join Real Madrid upon the conclusion of his Paris Saint-Germain contract.

The 2018 World Cup winner has opted not to extend his PSG deal.

Los Blancos have long circled for Mbappe's signature, having come close to signing him in the off-season.

TOP STORY - BARCELONA PLOT SWOOP FOR REAL TARGET MBAPPE

Barcelona are plotting a sensational move to snap up Mbappe ahead of rivals Madrid, reports L'Equipe.

The 23-year-old PSG winger has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid upon the conclusion of his contract at season's end.

However, the report claims Barcelona view him as a more financially shrewd option than Erling Haaland, who could cost them up to €300million.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona have also joined the race to sign Leeds United's Brazil international Raphinha alongside Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, according to the Mirror.

- Barcelona are also interested in Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski, claims SPORT. The same outlet have also linked the Blaugrana with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah , who is yet to extend at Anfield beyond his existing deal, which expires in 2023.

- The Sun claims that Bruno Fernandes will have his salary doubled with a new Manchester United deal in the works. The contract is understood to be a five-year deal.

- Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger has been offered a deal by Juventus, reports Sky Sports.

Lionel Messi has been urged by player-turned-pundit Jerome Rothen to quit Paris Saint-Germain after just one season.

The Argentine forward signed a lucrative two-year deal last August after being turfed out of Barcelona when the Spanish club realised they could not afford to register him.

It meant there was the tantalising prospect of Messi teaming up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at the Parc des Princes, but they have only featured together in fits and starts due to illness and injury.

PSG hoped to storm the Champions League but were eliminated by Real Madrid at the last-16 stage after squandering a 2-0 aggregate lead during the second leg in Spain.

Messi has managed just two Ligue 1 goals, and seven in all competitions, meaning that for the first time since 2005-06 at Barcelona, he could finish a season with a single-figure goals haul.

"The love story was never made with PSG," Rothen said on his RMC Sports programme. "For everyone's sake, it should end in June."

Barcelona have said they would not close the door on Messi returning to Camp Nou, now that they appear in a better position to sign players.

That still seems unlikely but may be an option on the table should Messi agree his time in France has been a rare career misstep.

Messi missed PSG's weekend defeat to Monaco due to flu but has been able to travel to Argentina this week to join up with his national team.

He was booed during PSG's recent 3-0 home win against Bordeaux in the wake of the Champions League exit, an unusual experience for a player used to being feted by fans.

According to Rothen, who played in the PSG first team from 2004 to 2009 and won 13 caps for France, there has been questionable commitment from a number of South American stars to the PSG cause.

"These things shock me," Rothen said. "He isn't the only one in a few years who has functioned like this with Paris Saint-Germain. We've seen South Americans pull faces from time to time, be physically a little amorphous and not play, then they are in full possession of their means with the national team.

"It's a shame the relationship [Messi] has with Paris Saint-Germain today. Will these 10 days [with Argentina] give him some comfort so that things go better with PSG? I'm still very sceptical about it."

Lucas Paqueta has defended Neymar against "false" accusations that the Brazil star turned up to Paris Saint-Germain training sessions drunk, describing them as "a lie".

The pair, rivals in Ligue 1 and team-mates with the Selecao, are both in camp ahead of their final Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia.

Neymar has arrived on the back of a rough personal period at Parc des Princes, having been booed alongside Lionel Messi following the club's Champions League exit.

Reports from RMC Sport suggested the forward had breached discipline at the club by showing up to training in a state of inebriation.

But speaking in a pre-match press conference, Lyon attacking midfielder Paqueta has fired back at such claims, hailing his fellow Selecao star as a "great professional".

"It's a total lack of respect, to say or transmit information that is false," he stated. "Obviously, [Neymar] didn't comment on that, I believe it's a lie.

"People talk too much and it ends up affecting us a little in a way, it's difficult to filter all that. You can't believe what people say. I believe Neymar is a great professional.

"Neymar, above all, is a great person, a great professional, who has an incredible talent, without a doubt is our best player in the Brazilian team.

"Having him with us is a privilege, particularly me, when I have Neymar on my side, I feel much stronger, as do all my team-mates. 

"I think he also feels the same, we motivate each other more, hug each other more and that makes us stronger."

Lionel Messi made a getaway from Paris to bolster Argentina ahead of their final World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

Rumours surround the future of Messi at club level, with Barcelona appearing to hold the door open in case he fancies a return to Camp Nou, having left in tears last August.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's first season at Paris Saint-Germain is almost certain to end with a Ligue 1 title, but exits from the Champions League and Coupe de France have dampened spirits.

Messi was booed by PSG supporters in the recent 3-0 home win over Bordeaux, with that March 13 game following in the wake of defeat to Real Madrid in Europe.

He has another year left on his PSG contract after this season.

The national team captain was assured of a warm welcome with Argentina, having made the trip out later than planned after missing PSG's 3-0 weekend defeat at Monaco due to what coach Mauricio Pochettino said was a bout of flu.

The 34-year-old travelled by private jet with PSG team-mates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes, ahead of a home game against Venezuela on Friday and a trip to face Ecuador four days later. Local media showed the pair arriving on Tuesday morning.

Argentina began their preparations for the games on Monday, ahead of the trio arriving from France.

Although Argentina have already qualified for the Qatar 2022 finals, Messi's availability comes as a boost to head coach Lionel Scaloni.

A host of injuries means Argentina's squad has been significantly weakened, and Inter striker Lautaro Martinez has pulled out after a positive COVID-19 test.

According to former national team defender Roberto Ayala, who is now Scaloni's assistant, Argentina have no worries about Messi.

Ayala told La Red earlier this month: "We see Messi well. He is a boy who is transformed when he comes to the national team. He is very contained by the group and also wants them to see him as part of the group."

Barcelona are determined to keep Erling Haaland out of Real Madrid's clutches and view a deal for the Borussia Dortmund striker as "difficult, but not impossible".

Signs are pointing to Haaland leaving Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, with Barcelona, Madrid and Manchester City all thought to be keen to sign the Norwegian striker.

There is the worrying potential scenario for Barcelona of Madrid signing Kylian Mbappe as well as Haaland, to reinforce attacking options that already include Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior.

It might be beyond Madrid's means to attract both in-demand frontman to the Santiago Bernabeu, given the financial implications of such deals, and Barcelona are having to work out what they themselves can afford to spend.

Financial struggles at Camp Nou have seen the club have to tread carefully in the transfer market, although they have enabled head coach Xavi to strengthen with the likes of Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore.

Speaking on Cadena Ser radio, Barcelona president Joan Laporta's advisor, Enric Masip, also said it was not beyond the realm of possibility that Lionel Messi could return to the club in a playing capacity. Record-breaking captain Messi was forced out last summer, when Barcelona realised they could not afford to register him.

Masip said of potential transfer movement: "The signing of Haaland is difficult, but not impossible. Many circumstances have to be met to be able to sign him. The club, despite the economic situation, are looking for formulas to continue making signings.

"I refer to the words that the president said: the club is in a position to be able to sign, but obviously, there have to be movements. For someone to come, someone has to leave.

"That is in the hands of the technical secretariat and then later there is the economic part. Speaking of Haaland, he is a player who has enormous quality and is a true '9'. At a football level, he is a player who would always be interesting in any big team."

Masip added, according to Mundo Deportivo: "I would prefer that Mbappe and Haaland don't get together in Madrid."

 

Since the day of Haaland's Dortmund debut on January 18, 2020, the Leeds-born forward has managed 80 goals in 82 club games across all competitions, putting him second among players from Europe's top five leagues (Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, LaLiga, Serie A).

Only Robert Lewandowski (118 goals in 99 games for Bayern Munich) has managed more, with Haaland three ahead of Mbappe and five clear of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi sits eighth on that list with 60 goals in 97 matches, while he also sits third for assists in the same period (38 – beaten only by Bruno Fernandes' 39 and Thomas Muller's 51) and has hit the woodwork more than anyone (27 times).

Regarding a possible return for Messi, Masip said: "Nothing is impossible, but there have been no winks as such from the club."

Messi is enduring a tough first season at Paris Saint-Germain and has scored just two Ligue 1 goals for the French league leaders. The Argentinian hit a record 672 goals for Barcelona.

He signed a two-year deal with PSG in August 2021, with an option for a third year.

Haaland appears a likelier acquisition for Barcelona than Messi, although the club's tune appears to change regularly when it comes to talk of the prolific Dortmund frontman.

Laporta earlier this month seemed to dampen expectation of such a deal, given the hefty cost involved.

"Even if we had the best economic situation, there are operations we would not do," Laporta told Esport3.

Argentine forward Paulo Dybala is set to exit Juventus at the end of this season.

As a result, the Bianconeri are assessing their options for a replacement.

Juventus are currently fourth in Serie A after an excellent run of results which have put them into the title picture.

TOP STORY – ZANIOLO FRAMED AS DYBALA REPLACEMENT 

TuttoMercato claims Juventus have set their sights on Nicolo Zaniolo as Dybala's replacement, with the Roma attacker unlikely to renew with the Giallorossi before his contract expires in 2024.

The first domino in this instance is Dybala, whose contract expires at the end of this season. Juventus have no intention of extending according to Fabrizio Romano. Romano claims the 28-year-old will not move another club in Serie A, opening up a move to long-time suitor Tottenham.

According to TuttoMercato, Juve have chosen Zaniolo as their replacement and would be ready to make a move in the upcoming transfer window. Whether they can manoeuvre to match his current market value of €40million remains to be seen, however.

ROUND-UP

- Per Sky Sports, Manchester United have narrowed their shortlist for a permanent manager down to Ajax's Erik ten Hag, Sevilla's Julen Lopetegui, Spain boss Luis Enrique and Paris Saint-Germain's Mauricio Pochettino .

- Inter have targeted Edinson Cavani as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Calciomercato reports Arsenal will make a move for Arthur in the upcoming transfer window, as contract negotiations with Juventus have broken down.

- Arsenal are also keen to tie Bukayo Saka to a long-term contract, in attempts to fend off outside interest for the 20-year-old, per The Athletic.

The pressure mounted on Paris Saint-Germain again after another defeat in Ligue 1 this weekend.

The Parisians are 12 points clear at the top but have lost four of their past six games.

Lionel Messi has only netted twice in Ligue 1 since his move from Barcelona, while fellow free signing Sergio Ramos has also only played five times.

 

TOP STORY – PSG TO BLOCK MESSI OR RAMOS RETURNS

Marca reports that PSG would block any potential return to Barcelona or Real Madrid for either Messi or Ramos respectively.

The Ligue 1 giants signed both players last year from those respective clubs, yet there has been reports claiming they may want to return to Spain.

Ramos has struggled with injury while Messi has not been able to discover his best goalscoring form, but PSG are eager to hold on to them.

Messi joined on a two-year deal last August, while Ramos also penned a two-year deal last July.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich have made an opening bid for Ajax's Ryan Gravenberch according to Fabrizio Romano. The fee is approximately €25million but Ajax want more.

- Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG and Madrid are all circling for Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni but the Ligue 1 club will not accept less than €50m for him claims Foot Mercato.

- Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to sign Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella according to El Nacional. Barella's arrival could force Toni Kroos out too.

- Aston Villa are prepared to pay £60m for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips claims The Times.

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