Lionel Messi has agreed to a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived in Paris on Tuesday afternoon to seal his move to the French club with a deal worth £25million a year after tax, plus bonuses.
Messi had two other options after leaving Barcelona last week, but has opted to move to PSG, who have the option of extending his stay in the French capital for a third year.
Messi – who will receive £25m as part of the move – is set to extend his 21-year stay with Barcelona by signing a new five-year deal this summer.
However, the club announced on Thursday that “financial and structural obstacles” prevented the deal from being completed, meaning Messi left as a free agent.
The 34-year-old said he wanted to stay at Barcelona and was “doing everything he could” to stay at the club, including agreeing to a 50 percent pay cut.
However, Barcelona is hampered by La Liga rules on club spending and even halving Messi’s salary was not enough to ensure he stayed at the Camp Nou.
Messi is now poised to join PSG, with their potential to compete for major trophies, including the Champions League, which is believed to be a key factor in his decision to move to France.
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Messi would also like to reunite with Neymar, with whom he won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and the Champions League during their time together at Barcelona.
Asked about a move to PSG at his farewell press conference last weekend, Messi said: “That’s an opportunity to reach those heights.
“I’ve had a lot of calls, a lot of interested clubs. At the moment nothing is closed, but we talk about a lot of things.”
Messi said during an emotional farewell press conference on Sunday that he did not want to leave Barcelona.
Messi was in tears as he received a standing ovation at his last press conference in Barcelona to announce the end of his 21 years at the club.
Barcelona confirmed Messi’s departure on Thursday evening, the same day he returned to Catalonia after his holiday after the Copa America.
Messi had traveled to Barcelona expecting to agree to details of the announcement of his new five-year deal, and confirmed he was offering to cut his wages by 50 per cent.
“This year my family and I were convinced that we would stay at home, that’s what we all wanted most,” said Messi.
“We had always made this our own, we were at home. We thought we would stay here in Barcelona. But today we have to say goodbye to this.”