'It's completely false!' - Messi €30m per year contract report branded 'unacceptable' by PSG director Leonardo
The Parc des Princes chief has rubbished details of the Argentine's contract that have been published in the French media
Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has branded a report saying Lionel Messi is on a €30 million (£26m/$35m) per year contract "completely false" and "unacceptable".
PSG pulled off arguably the biggest coup of the summer transfer window by signing Messi, who became available as a free agent after Barcelona announced they were unable to tie him down to a new contract due to their struggles to get below La Liga's wage limit.
The 34-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 giants, but L'Equipe reported he has been promised a third season worth €40m (£34m/$47m) and a yearly bonus of €15m (£13m/$18m).
What has been said?
Leonardo rubbished the French newspaper's claims in a press conference on Saturday, insisting Messi is only tied to Parc des Princes until 2023 under the terms of his current agreement.
"We can't accept this," the PSG chief told reporters. "This is unacceptable. This is completely false. I wanted to tell you that. I think it's a lack of respect and we didn't like it. I don't understand the timing. This is really very far from the truth, on the duration and the numbers.
"There are confidentiality clauses, but I can say that this is not the truth. The duration of the contract is two years. It's wrong, it's not that, and we didn't like it."
How has Messi started at PSG?
Messi missed the start of PSG's 2021-22 campaign due to a short pre-season following his Copa America-winning exploits with Argentina in July. The five-time Ballon d'Or has gradually worked his way back to full fitness, and finally made his debut for Mauricio Pochettino's side from the bench in a 2-0 victory away at Reims on August 29.
PSG supporters were able to see Messi make his first start in a Champions League group stage opener against Club Brugges in midweek, but his performance failed to live up to the pre-match hype as the French outfit were held to a 1-1 draw at Jan Breydel Stadium.
Messi will likely have another chance to make his mark when PSG welcome Lyon to Parc des Princes on Sunday, where they will be aiming to extend their 100 per cent record in Ligue 1.