Signing Lionel Messi would take French champions Paris Saint-Germain to the next level, according to their current star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Press rumours in France suggest the big-spending Qatari-backed Parisians are in the market for a record bid for the Argentine wizard.
And Ibrahimovic, who failed to strike up a particularly successful partnership with Messi during his one season at Barcelona, believes signing the four-time Ballon d’Or winner would not just allow PSG to dream of bigger and better, but would make them a whole new force to be reckoned with in European competition.
“If he’s up for sale then the whole world will be after him, not just PSG,” said Ibrahimovic from the French champions’ winter training camp in Doha.
“I don’t know the situation but I think he’s very happy at Barcelona.
“The press creates this but only he knows the truth.
“PSG’s project is to dream bigger but if you buy Messi, you don’t dream bigger, you are bigger.”
Signings such as that of Ibrahimovic, Brazilians Thiago Silva and Lucas and Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani have got many people believing PSG can genuinely challenge for Champions League honours this season.
Last year they reached the quarter-finals where they lost on away goals to Barca, while their best result in the competition remains their semi-final run in 1995.
And although PSG are champions of France and leading the way in Ligue 1 this season too, Ibrahimovic is determined to go further.
“I’m never satisfied, I want to win. We’ve progressed well and quickly. The team has come on very quickly in the right direction,” he said. “We play very good football, we have the ball, we create chances.
“There’s a high level of collective quality, our mentality is progressing. Everything’s going in the right direction and I’m delighted.”
PSG will play Real Madrid in a friendly in Doha on Thursday and Ibrahimovic is taking that match very seriously.
“Unfortunately it’s a friendly match but we’ll treat it like a competitive match. It would be good for confidence to win.”
Written by George Coomber