Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has claimed that he would be prepared to pay €250m for Barcelona golden star Lionel Messi, should the Spanish giants meet PSG captain Thiago Silva's release clause.
The multi-billionaire Sheikh is reportedly frustrated at Barca's lingering attempts to prise the Brazilian defender away from the Parc des Princes and has vowed to play them at their own game, according to Sky Sports News.
"If Barca pay the buy-out clause of Thiago Silva then I will meet Messi's buy-out clause," he is quoted as telling an online French journal.
The remark follows speculation that Blaugrana bosses are poised to make a concrete bid for Silva, who has been linked with moving to the Nou Camp since the end of last season, in spite of PSG's refusal to negotiate a deal.
Equally, the 28-year-old centre-back continues to declare his loyalty to the Ligue 1 winners, at the same time as Barcelona chief Sandro Rosell publicly announced the club's intention of signing Silva before the start of the season.
Meanwhile, Al-Khelafi's latest retort is a sign of both the growing rivalry between the two European teams, who met in the UEFA Champions League quarter finals in April, and PSG's highly-ambitious recent recruitment policy.
The Qatari businessman has already brought big-name players such as Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the French capital, although the expensive squad is unlikely to persuade Messi to leave his beloved Barca team.
The FIFA Ballon d'Or holder and Argentina international was recently quoted as saying that he "never thought about playing anywhere else."
So, while Messi does have an official buy-out fee - around six times that of Silva's effective asking price - it seems that some players are ultimately priceless.
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