Lionel Messi agrees to Paris Saint-Germain deal after Barcelona exit – Gillem Balage


Lionel Messi has agreed a two-year deal to join Paris Saint-Germain after his sudden exit from Barcelona, ​​BBC Sport columnist Guillem Balage said.

The deal, which has an option for a third year, is subject to a medical examination.

The 34-year-old Argentina captain has left Barcelona – the only club he has ever played for – as they could not afford a new deal under La Liga financial fair play rules.

Paris Saint-Germain, led by Mauricio Pochettino, finished second against Lille in Ligue 1 last season.

“Everything has been confirmed. Lionel Messi will be a PSG player,” Balage told BBC Radio 5 Live. “That’s it, it’s done. It’s happened in the last few minutes.

“Right now, there are as many police as there are fans [at the stadium]. That will change soon. There are eight cameras here, again this will change. It appears to be a two-year deal, plus one.

“His idea was to do it at Barcelona but it would be PSG. Then if he feels okay, he will stay another year maybe. But anyway, his goal is to be at PSG and then do well in the World Cup in Qatar.”

Lionel Messi's photo was taken outside the Nou Camp
Lionel Messi’s photo at the Nou Camp has been deleted

Considered one of the greatest players of all time, Messi scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona, ​​the club he joined when he was 13 years old.

He won the Ballon d’Or six times and won 35 titles with the Catalan club.

The signing of Messi – who will be reunited with former Barcelona teammate Neymar at the Parc des Princes – is one of the most noteworthy moments in football history.

He will play in the top three alongside the two most expensive players of all time – Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Unless there are any snags of late, he will become PSG’s fourth free transfer this summer following the arrival of Dutch midfielder Jorginho Wijnaldum, Spanish defender Sergio Ramos and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

High-ranking Moroccan right-back Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan also joined.

Paris Saint-Germain has yet to win the Champions League after a decade of Qatari ownership and subsequent huge investments, and the final defeat of 2020 against Bayern Munich was the closest.

“Obviously what the PSG ownership wants is a team that plays the Champions League final every year,” Balage said.

“With Messi you have an advantage. Pochettino being in charge and renewing his contract also means that they have an idea of ​​how to do that and Messi will continue with that.

“They will win the league, which is almost a foregone conclusion now, despite their loss last season. It will be a less competitive league which means it will of course be, or should be, new to the Champions League campaign.”

Messi agreed to a new deal – on 50% of his old wages – to stay at Barcelona but the club was unable to implement it because they were well above the wage limit allowed in La Liga.

“He used to earn 140 million euros a year at Barcelona, ​​which is about 125 million pounds,” said Ballaj. “I take off about 40-50% for taxes.

“He agreed to stay in Barcelona by taking a 50% salary cut, not more because doing so is illegal.” [under Spanish law]. Basically, the league would not believe that it was cutting his salary to zero, which Barcelona may have tried because they owe 1 billion euros. Basically they can’t afford it.”

If the deal is executed quickly, he could make his Paris Saint-Germain debut at home in Strasbourg on Saturday.

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