Messi has agreed on move to PSG, his father says
The football superstar and his father were spotted at Barcelona airport, are reportedly heading to Paris.
Lionel Messi has agreed to join French club Paris Saint Germain (PSG) following his abrupt departure from Barcelona, his father and agent, Jorge, said.
Reuters reporters saw Messi and Jorge arrive at Barcelona airport on Tuesday after French newspaper L’Equipe and Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo said the Argentinian midfielder had reached an agreement to join PSG on a two-year deal.
The developments follow days of speculation over the football superstar’s future.
Messi, who established himself as one of the world’s greatest players during a 20-year stay at the club he joined as a schoolboy, will arrive in Paris on Tuesday, according to reports. His destination could not immediately be confirmed.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner and record goalscorer for both Argentina and Barcelona, wept on Sunday as he bade farewell to Barcelona.
The departure came after the club said it could no longer afford to honour a contract reached with Messi, blaming La Liga’s fair play rules.
Messi will join an already formidable PSG front line, which includes former Barcelona teammate Neymar and young France striker Kylian Mbappe.
The addition is set to boost the club’s ambitions of winning their first-ever Champions League.
It is also set to provoke a renewed debate about UEFA’s financial fair play rules, which were first introduced in 2009 and set spending limits on teams based on their revenue.
The rules were meant to prevent unsustainable overspending and discourage outside injections of cash, but have been criticised for favouring larger, more established clubs.
They are seen by some as ineffective.
Messi’s last four-year contract with Barcelona was worth a total of 555 million euros ($650m) – reported to be the most lucrative contract in sports history.
Messi is set to make 35 million euros ($41m) a year under the deal reached with PSG, according to multiple reports.
The superstar is only the latest big-name arrival at PSG.
Spanish defender Sergio Ramos joined the club after leaving Real Madrid, as did Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum after running down his contract with Liverpool.
Italy’s Euro 2020-winning goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma also joined after his contract with AC Milan ran out, while Moroccan fullback Achraf Hakimi joined from Inter Milan for a reported 60 million euros ($70m).