The Argentinian goalscoring legend is available on a free transfer after Barcelona failed to extend his contract which expired earlier this summer
Lionel Messi is closing in on a sensational move to Paris Saint-Germain, after reportedly agreeing to join the French club.
The Argentinian only had his Barcelona exit confirmed on Thursday night after they cited “economic obstacles” behind their inability to tie him to an extension.
It had been widely anticipated that Messi would sign a new deal at the Camp Nou, keeping him at the club for at least another two seasons.
There had even been suggestions that the Blaugrana’s record scorer was willing to take a sizable pay cut in order to stay at his beloved club.
But due to crippling financial issues, Barca have now confirmed Messi will not continue there and would be free to go.
AFP via Getty Images)
That set off the most anticipated free transfer chase in football history, with almost every major European team linked.
However, just hours after Barca president Joan Laporta explained the reasons behind his exit, he could be set to join PSG.
L’Equipe via GFFN claim Messi is set to sign a three-year deal with the Parisians which would see the forward earn €40m net a year.
The Athletic had previously claimed that Messi had personally contacted PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino to sound him out over the switch.
Pochettino was asked about Messi on Friday, instead choosing to focus on the general aim of improving the squad.
“We are focused on the start of the season,” he said.
“At the same time, we are focused on the club, which is working on the transfer window in a discreet way, and working to improve the team in whichever way possible to achieve the targets we set at the start of the season.
“In terms of Lionel Messi, we know what happened yesterday. I will not say anything different to that. We are fully focused on beating Troyes and starting the season well.
“At the same time, our sporting director and president are working hard to improve the team.”
French football expert Mohamed Bouhafsi claims Messi has made up his mind to join PSG and the signing could be wrapped up over the weekend.
Laporta conducted a live press conference shortly after Barcelona’s generic stadium, conceding there was no chance he would stay and hinting that PSG “have options” to land him.
“I’d like to see Lionel Messi play at Barca but whatever he does is up to him. You’d have to ask him.
“I will not answer that. I don’t know if PSG are interested, but it’s always been said that they have options.”
He added: “Leo wanted to stay, so he’s not happy. We all wanted him to stay.
“For him, he has to confront reality. It’s a reality that can’t be changed and he knows I wish him the best wherever he goes.”
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